Prepared by Elisabeth Lindsay.
An A-File is the abbreviated name for Alien Files (may also be referred to as Alien Case Files) created during World War II. In 1940 every non-citizen alien in the United States and those over 14 just arriving wer required to register at their local post office. As a result of this registration, each alien was issued an alien registration number. These numbers were later used (beginning in 1944, but may include some prior to that time) to create individual case files or A-Files, containing the records of any alien not yet naturalized. Once naturalized, the A-File ceased to exist and a C-File (certificate file) created.
A-Files contain a wealth of immigrant information all in one file and may include visas, photographs, applications, affidavits, correspondence, and more. Both A-Files and C-Files can be accessed through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) Genealogy Program.