Foreign Affairs

Records of the Displaced Persons Commission (RG 278)

The commission was created by Congress in 1948 to administer the selection and resettlement in the United States of certain European displaced persons. The records consist of policy and administrative files; they do not include files relating to individual displaced persons or lists of names of displaced persons. The commission went out of existence in 1952.

You can search the National Archives Catalog for entries from RG 278 or see a description in the Guide to Federal Records.

Immigrant visas (and supporting documentation) issued by the Department of State to aliens are surrendered to U.S. immigration officials upon admission to the United States.  Beginning April 1, 1944, all new immigrant visas were filed in the Alien Files (“A-Files”).  For more information on the files and how to request access to them, please see the “History and Genealogy” website of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) located at:  USCIS has begun to transfer A-Files to the National Archives for preservation.  For more detail, go to: