Finally got no record from USCIS now what?

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gennattasio
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Finally got no record from USCIS now what?

Postby gennattasio » 13 Jan 2009, 23:52

I finally got a response on one of my FOIA requests from USCIS. They sent me a letter that they found no record of naturalization for my gf but it is not certified and has no official seal on it or anything, just a plain business letter. I'm not quite sure if this what exactly I need for dual cit.

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matta
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Re: Finally got no record from USCIS now what?

Postby matta » 14 Jan 2009, 01:40

gennattasio wrote:I finally got a response on one of my FOIA requests from USCIS. They sent me a letter that they found no record of naturalization for my gf but it is not certified and has no official seal on it or anything, just a plain business letter. I'm not quite sure if this what exactly I need for dual cit.


That's a letter of no record. You need to send that back to the USCIS and request a Certificate of Non-Existence of Naturalization. There should be an address that came with your letter and instructions.

This second step takes about a year, but is required by the consulates. Basically, when you make an initial G-639 or G-1041 request, the USCIS searches their database for a record of naturalization. If they find no record, they send what you have now (which suffices for genealogy research). If you write back and ask for a certification, they then do a second search, which includes their database (again), but also a few other databases that they do not control (e.g. some counties that are not in their system, state documents, etc.). Then someone high up in the chain (not just a person at a computer) certifies on behalf of the US Government that the person never naturalized.

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Re: Finally got no record from USCIS now what?

Postby gennattasio » 14 Jan 2009, 07:24

Thanks for the reply. I can't believe I have to wait another year. There are only instructions in the letter to make an appeal of the findings or to make another request which they suggest be sent to the genealogy program. So should the request for Cert of No Rec be sent to the genealogy program?

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Re: Finally got no record from USCIS now what?

Postby johnnyonthespot » 14 Jan 2009, 08:11

gennattasio wrote:Thanks for the reply. I can't believe I have to wait another year. There are only instructions in the letter to make an appeal of the findings or to make another request which they suggest be sent to the genealogy program. So should the request for Cert of No Rec be sent to the genealogy program?


Under the old FOIA system, you would take the letter you have received and, following the directions on this page, you would:

Certification of Nonexistence of a Record:

Mail requests to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, ATTN: Records Service Branch, 1200 First Street, NE, 2nd Floor, Washington, D.C. 20529-2204.


However, under the new Genealogy system, the rules appear to have changed. According to this page, you now need to:

How do I get certification of nonexistence of a record?

A certification of non-existence requires an agency decision prepared by the USCIS Office of Records Management. Requests for this service should be addressed to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, ATTN: Records Operations Branch, 111 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, 4th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20529.


-or-

How do I submit a question about my request results?

Questions about index search results or record copies that you have already received should be directed to genealogy.uscis@dhs.gov. Please include your case identification number in your message.


Hope this helps!

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Re: Finally got no record from USCIS now what?

Postby gennattasio » 14 Jan 2009, 16:29

Much appreciated Johnny, thanks for helping me get it straight.

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Re: Finally got no record from USCIS now what?

Postby matta » 15 Jan 2009, 00:19

The USCIS gives out 4 different addresses and a fax number for certificates of non-existence. I just made copies and sent them everywhere.

We used to have a list on ICGS before it went down :(

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Re: Finally got no record from USCIS now what?

Postby gennattasio » 16 Jan 2009, 18:08

I spoke with somone at USCIS this morning and they informed me that the request for Cert of Non Exist of Nat should be sent to:
U.S. Dept of Homeland Security/USCIS
FOIA Division
P.O. Box 648010
Lee's Summit, MO 64064-8010

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Re: Finally got no record from USCIS now what?

Postby johnnyonthespot » 16 Jan 2009, 20:37

gennattasio wrote:I spoke with somone at USCIS this morning and they informed me that the request for Cert of Non Exist of Nat should be sent to:
U.S. Dept of Homeland Security/USCIS
FOIA Division
P.O. Box 648010
Lee's Summit, MO 64064-8010


Perhaps someone should encourage them to update their web site...

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matta
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Re: Finally got no record from USCIS now what?

Postby matta » 16 Jan 2009, 23:35

gennattasio wrote:I spoke with somone at USCIS this morning and they informed me that the request for Cert of Non Exist of Nat should be sent to:
U.S. Dept of Homeland Security/USCIS
FOIA Division
P.O. Box 648010
Lee's Summit, MO 64064-8010


I sent one there and never heard back. Someone else sent one and had it returned. It seems to me that no one knows who's approving these things, and you can call 4 times and get 4 different answers.

With that in mind, my approach has been the shotgun approach. I've sent the request to every address, hoping at least one makes it through.

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Re: Finally got no record from USCIS now what?

Postby gennattasio » 17 Jan 2009, 01:43

Matta, did you hear back from any of the requests you sent in?

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Re: Finally got no record from USCIS now what?

Postby matta » 17 Jan 2009, 02:36

gennattasio wrote:Matta, did you hear back from any of the requests you sent in?


Not recently. A while ago, I applied through the G-639 process and got some responses. Since the G-1041 process kicked in, I have yet to receive a certificate of non-existence (though, in their defense, they're quoting a year and it's only been a 3-4 months since the G-1041 kicked in). I also still have some G-639 requests outstanding.

I'm trying to process multiple paths so I can then pick the "easiest" (least number of legal petitions necessary).

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Re: Finally got no record from USCIS now what?

Postby gennattasio » 21 Jan 2009, 02:42

I just received a response from USCIS to an appeal I had to file over a year ago because they sent me the nat records for the wrong person. Their response says that they agree they sent the wrong records and have remanded my request to the National Records Center. Hopefully, President Obama's reversal of John Ashcroft's directive for government agencies to resist FOIA requests will make a huge difference in response times now.

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Re: Finally got no record from USCIS now what?

Postby StevenV » 17 Apr 2009, 17:46

Okay, wait a minute... After waiting over 2 full years for a FOIA letter stating that no records were found I was told first by the people at Lee's Summit to fax them a request for a Certification of Non-Existence of Record Letter--which I did. But that turned out to be wrong; Lee's Summit no longer handles those.

So then I was told by the folks at Lee's Summit that my request must be sent to the same address provided on the USCIS Genealogy website:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
ATTN: Records Operations Branch
1200 First Street NE, 2nd Floor
Washington, D.C. 20529-2202

here's a link to that page:

http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/ ... 18190aRCRD

This is also now the address given on the page that johnyonthespot linked to above (no longer the 111 Mass Ave. one).

But where does it say that such requests are taking a year to process?

This is the very last thing I need: I had my meeting with the Philly Consulate and was basically given the go-ahead except for this last formality.

It's a "formality" because my gf was born in 1892--14 years BEFORE the USCIS has any records. I provided the relevant No Record letter from the Regional NARA office, also census info, and also my ggf's death certificate: he died in Italy, where he lived for most of his life (except for stays in the US, during one of which my gf was born).

Also I provided my gf's marriage certificate: he was raised and married in Italy, and the consulate official said that the fact that his marriage was recorded in his Italian commune is evidence that my gf (born in the US but raised in Italy) was an Italian citizen--that it would not have been recorded there if he were not. In fact, she said I could have started my jure sanguinis records simply with him rather than with my ggf.

All of which is a long-winded way of saying, I really hope it is not going to actually be a year to get the Certification of Non-Existence!

Does anyone have any recent experience with the process and how long it's taken?

Elsewhere I've seen someone say that it will take about a month.

So I'm really curious if they USCIS itself states somewhere that it's taking a year.

Any info?

Grazie.

PS Mi dispiaci for the length of the post.

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Re: Finally got no record from USCIS now what?

Postby Mulé » 01 Dec 2009, 19:43

StevenV wrote:So I'm really curious if they USCIS itself states somewhere that it's taking a year.

StevenV or anyone else in this thread, do you have any updates?

StevenV did you get your certificate of non-existence of naturalization? Everything worked out?

I have requested my certificate of non-existence of naturalization but don't anticipate a response quickly.

On the bottom of the USCIS page they indicate how far backlogged they are.

As of today it reads,
We are currently answering requests received in early or mid- August 2009 (a few earlier).

Some Record Requests received earlier remain active, in most cases awaiting the requested file.

Last updated: 10/30/2009



P.S. forgot to mention that I also did the shotgun approach and sent my request to all 3 addresses in this thread. I got a call from USCIS this morning, just not sure which office got their letter.

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Re: Finally got no record from USCIS now what?

Postby StevenV » 02 Dec 2009, 00:10

Mulé:

I did get a Certificate of Nonexistence of Record from the USCIS dated June 8, 2009. The date of my letter to them was March 30, 2009, so that's, what?, a little over 2 months, which isn't bad at all, and much sooner than I'd expected.

I think at the time I submitted my last letter at the end of March, their website said they were dealing with January applications. So there is some hope that you'll get a response more quickly than you're expecting--at least I hope you do.

The weird thing is that as it turned out, the Philadelphia Consulate did not make me wait to receive the Certificate of Nonexistence. The woman at the Consulate had noted at my appointment that because my gf was born in the US but raised and married in Italy I could've started my application with him instead of my ggf. All I needed was in addition to his US birth certificate, Italian marriage certificate, etc, a document from his comune (the exact name of which I forget at the moment) confirming that he was a registered Italian citizen there. I got a letter from the comune attesting to this and the Consulate was able to go forward without the Record of Nonexistence for my ggf.

In any case, I received the letter of riconoscimento for my son and I on June 15, and we now have our Italian passports.

I began the process with a fax to my second cousin in Italy at the end of March 2005! So 3 1/2 years--including periods of hopelessness--but it can and will work out, so keep plugging away!

If I can be of any help, let me know.

Buona fortuna!


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