From References to Visas after July 1, 1924
The Immigration Act of 1924 changed everything in the world of U.S.
immigration records. Beginning July 1 of that year, everyone arriving
at a U.S. port of entry needed some sort of entry document. United
States citizens needed their birth record or their naturalization
certificate. Non-citizens needed one of a variety of documents
depending on their purpose ...
To the point of your question:
NIV XXX refers to a Non-Immigrant Visa. These Visas were issued for temporary stays in the United States.
QIV XXX: Indicates the immigrant visa number of the passenger. More specifically, Quota Immigrant Visa (as opposed to Non-Quota) See (a) Mary Snow, "Re: [PBS] numbers written next to name on passenger list," listserve message dated 21 Jan 2007. She provides an example, "Visa: QIV.1518; Place & Date Issued: London 12.12.39" and cites, "Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild: RMS Nova Scotia." See also (b) giannattasio "What is QIV and NQIV on Manifest," ItalianGenealogy.com forum posting 07 July 2010; answers cite, Marian L. Smith, Historian, U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, "A Guide to Interpreting Passenger List Annotations," ?n.d., JewishGen.org.
Quoting below from, "Visa Files, July 1, 1924 to March 31, 1944," which separately includes an excellant overview of the records in these files.
Between July 1, 1924 and March 31, 1944, Visa Files were the official
arrival records of immigrants admitted for permanent residence. As
such, they were used on a daily basis for verification of arrival for
naturalization and other purposes. Passenger lists and border port
manifests remained the official record of non-immigrant admissions in
The above quoted material (1924-1944) is part of "Historical Record Series"; the full series contains five different collections. Two of these collections extend beyond 1944.
"Immigrant Files (A-Files), April 1, 1944 to May 1, 1951" described as below:
Immigrant Files, (A-Files) are the individual alien case files, which
became the official file for all immigration records created or
consolidated since April 1, 1944. A-numbers ranging up to
approximately 6 million were issued to aliens and immigrants within or
entering the United States between 1940 and 1945. The 6 million and 7
million series of A-numbers were issued between circa 1944 and May 1,
1951. The Immigrant Files exist only in hard copy (textual) format. Only A-File documents dated to May 1, 1951, are releasable under the
"Naturalization Certificate Files (C-Files), September 27, 1906 to March 31, 1956" described as below.
Naturalization Certificate Files (C-Files) are copies of records
relating to all U.S. naturalizations in Federal, State, county, or
municipal courts, overseas military naturalizations, replacement of
old law naturalization certificates, and the issuance of Certificates
of Citizenship in derivative, repatriation, and resumption cases.
Standard C-Files generally contain at least one application form
(Declaration of Intention and/or Petition for Naturalization, or other
application) and a duplicate certificate of naturalization or
certificate of citizenship. Many files contain additional documents,
including correspondence, affidavits, or other records. Only C-Files
dating from 1929 onward include photographs. The majority of C-Files
exist only on microfilm.
Helpful links and other references:
- References to Visas after July 1, 1924, JewishGen.org.
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, "Visa Files, July 1, 1924 to March 31, 1944," last updated 05/21/2010.
- Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak, They Came To America: Finding Your Immigrant Ancestors (San Francisco, CA : Santa Fe Ventures, ©2003)
- Loretto Dennis Szucs, They Became Americans: Finding Naturalization Records and Ethnic Origins (Salt Lake City, Utah : Ancestry, ©1998)