Getting information from the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (former INS) is currently free but any requests received at the USCIS FOIA office on or after August 13, 2008 will be subject to the following fees:

Index Search: $20.
Copy of Document from Microfilm: $20.
Copy of Textual File: $35.

It seems like it therefore makes sense to go through your files and request information on anyone who immigrated to the US.  More information on the new program is available from the Nu? What's New? archive at According to the personnel at the National Record Center in Lee's Summit, MO current requests will still be processed under FOIA as long as they arrive before the new "Genealogy Program" is up and running [before August 13, 2008].

The form you need is G-639, which can be downloaded from .  This form can be filled in before printing. It's probably best to do this for sections 1, 2, 4 and for the country of birth under 5. Make sure that when you print multiple copies that you only do so for pages 4 and 5.

The numbers below refer to the sections of the form.

1) Mark the form as a Freedom of Information Act request

2) a) Fill out your name, address and the date

b)The next part mentions paying fees, but this is extremely unlikely under a FOIA request as the first 2 hours of search time and first 100 copies are free. Even if the request goes over the free amount, you are not sent a bill until the charges reach more than $14.00. This is discussed on the second page that contains instructions. I have received copies from over 100 files but was never charged anything.

c)Check the box for Deceased Subject and then write a note in the margin that the individual was born more than 100 years ago [the USCIS considers all individuals born more than 100 years ago as deceased]. If the person was born less than 100 years ago and is deceased, proof of death is required. The proof can be a photocopy of a death certificate or an obituary. A printout of the person's entry in the Social Security Death Index will also suffice. I usually use the one at .

3) Skip the section

4) Ask for all of the following:
Alien Registration, Immigration Visa Application, A-File, C-File, Naturalization Documents

5) Fill in as much information as you have. The minimum information that you have to provide is the name, date of birth, and country of birth.\n

Once you complete the forms, mail them to:
National Records Center
PO BOX 648010
Lee's Summit, Missouri 64064-8010