Birth certificate, US immigration visa application, and identification card issued to Hans Ament, born in Vienna, Austria in 1934.

Documents Required to Obtain a Visa

German Jews attempting to immigrate to the United States in the late 1930s faced overwhelming bureaucratic hurdles.

The bureaucratic hurdles facing German Jews attempting to emigrate in the late 1930s were overwhelming. Nations required extensive documentation that was often virtually impossible to obtain. The following is a list of the documents required by the United States to obtain a visa.

  • Five copies of the visa application
  • Two copies of the applicant's birth certificate
  • Quota number (establishing the applicant's place on the waiting list)

Two sponsors:

  • Close relatives of the prospective immigrant were preferred
  • The sponsors were required to be US citizens or to have permanent resident status, and they were required to have completed and notarized six copies of an Affidavit of Support and Sponsorship

Supporting documents:

  • Certified copy of most recent federal tax return
  • Affidavit from a bank regarding applicant's accounts
  • Affidavit from any other responsible person regarding other assets (affidavit from sponsor's employer or statement of commercial rating)

Certificate of Good Conduct from German Police authorities, including two copies of each:

  • Police dossier
  • Prison record
  • Military record
  • Other government records about individual

Affidavits of Good Conduct (after September 1940) from several responsible disinterested persons

Physical examination at US consulate

Proof of permission to leave Germany (imposed September 30, 1939)

Proof that prospective immigrant had booked passage to the Western hemisphere (imposed September 1939)