The fifth column of the image below is a sample of a few codes found in column 12 of a ship's manifest from 1947, arriving in New York. Is there a way to interpret what they mean?

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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:

Immigration 1924-1944

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 those years.

Beyond 1944

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 Genealogy Program.

"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:

  • While a visa number is apparently not necessary to obtain naturalization papers, is it sufficient? I cannot find the person in question (Annelise Morgenthau, QIV 6631) in the indexes by name. Dec 31 '12 at 17:51
  • 1
    According to "References to Visas after July 1, 1924" (link above) the visa numbers entered on the passenger lists are of limited value. While the codes seemed to have continued, some of the rules about visa files changed again in 1944, though. Will update shortly.
    – GeneJ
    Dec 31 '12 at 18:09
  • @GeneGolovchinsky I added a little more detail, BUT .. me thinks there is more to an answer about dear Annelise Morgenthau, QIV 6631) and his/her naturalization. Would you be game to inquire about his/her naturalization as part of another Genealogy.SE question?
    – GeneJ
    Dec 31 '12 at 18:25
  • 1
    I asked the follow-up question Dec 31 '12 at 19:02

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