Immigration visa number helpful for research?

Over 25 million Italians have emigrated between 1861 and 1960 with a migration boom between 1871 and 1915 when over 13,5 million emigrants left the country for European and overseas destinations.
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Petrojo
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Immigration visa number helpful for research?

Postby Petrojo » 01 Dec 2010, 20:11

On a ship manifest for my Great Great Grandfather, it lists an Immigration Visa number #1272 issued at Naples on 11/17/1925. Is there any way to obtain any genealogical information from this? Maybe a photo :D ? If so how would I, and what information might I expect to get?

Thanks

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johnnyonthespot
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Re: Immigration visa number helpful for research?

Postby johnnyonthespot » 01 Dec 2010, 20:32

You can go here https://genealogy.uscis.dhs.gov/ and select the third option, "Request a specific file by file number in a Record Request without Request Case ID"

After filling out the basic info, you will reach a page where you can enter the visa information.

Whether or not there will be a photo, I do not know. However, from the same starting page, you can request an Index Search of naturalization records. If your ancestor naturalized, there should be a photo attached to the Declaration of Intent and also to the Certificate of Naturalization.

If your ancestor naturalized in a federal court, you can probably obtain these same documents at lower cost and much more quickly by going to the National Archives instead of USCIS. See my post in this thread for info on how to request documents from NARA and/or USCIS: http://italiangenealogy.com/Forums/viewtopic/t=18689/
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Petrojo
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Re: Immigration visa number helpful for research?

Postby Petrojo » 02 Dec 2010, 04:07

Thank you for your reply and insight. It seems what I thought was the "Immigration visa number" is actually a DOS (Department of State) visa number and not the USCIS issued number which I would need. So I would have to request an Index search to get the number, then file a seperate request to obtain the visa file. The site does mention "a photo on the front of the visa packet" which is really the only reason I would pursue this information but it seems to be a slow process.

My ancestor did file his Declaration of Intention which I obtained at the Judicial Archives of Massachusetts (referred to them by NARA) but they couldn't find anything further which makes me believe he did not complete the process.

[quote]The Genealogy Program may experience an additional problem with Visa Files if researchers try to submit Record Requests without a prior Index Search Request. As noted above, the agency assigned unique Visa File numbers after the immigrant arrived. Thus the Visa File number did not appear on the visa at any time while in the immigrant’s possession. Rather, since issuance the visa bore a number assigned by the Department of State (DOS). The DOS visa number may also appear on a ship passenger manifest under the column heading “Immigration Visa Number.â€

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donnawright
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Re: Immigration visa number helpful for research?

Postby donnawright » 06 Dec 2010, 09:43

My grandmother's manifest shows visa numbers as well. It has been awhile since I inquired in Italy, so I have to think about it more and look for my question/answer.... but, I was told that the visa numbers will do no good, that the actual applications were not kept. There's a thread about this topic a year or more ago when I was asking about the very same thing. It seemed odd to me that the applications were not kept, but whoever replied to my inquiry in Italy where I got this answer was a credible official, so I quit looking. Sorry to be so vague; just can't remember exactly. I'd really have to dig, but I think I also saw a reference about these visa numbers on the internet - with the same result... that the visa applications were not kept. For what it's worth!
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