Green Card / Permanent Residency

Birth Certificates

You will need to provide a photocopy of your birth certificate and a photocopy of the birth certificate of each family member applying with you. Please be advised that each of the birth certificates must include all of the following information:

  • Applicant's Full Name
  • Full Date of birth (Month, Day and Year)
  • Place of birth (City, Province/State if applicable, country)
  • Full Name of Mother (BOTH First Name and Last Name - maiden or married name.) Both first name and last name must be spelled out. An initial is not sufficient.
  • Full Name of Father (Both First Name and Last Name.) Both first name and last name must be spelled out. An initial is not sufficient.

Birth documentation must comply with the State Department Foreign Affairs Manual ("FAM"), which specifies documents required and available from each country. Please click on the following link to view the FAM. To view the FAM, click here: Foreign Affairs Manual

A Birth Certificate is available from most countries. The FAM will specify when a birth certificate is not available; in some cases, the FAM will describe what alternative documentation, if any, may be submitted in place of a birth certificate. For example, individuals born in India may submit affidavits of birth and certificates of nonavailability as described below. Birth certificates issued by consulates are not acceptable.

For countries that issue Long Form birth certificates (including U.K. and Canada): For immigration purposes, you must obtain a copy of your "long form" birth certificate, which includes all of the information mentioned above, including your parents' full names. Extracts, abridged versions and wallet-size birth certificate cards are not acceptable for immigration purposes.

If a birth certificate exists but does not contain all of the required information as stated above, or was registered more than one year after the birth, alternative documentation must be submitted. Acceptable alternative documentation includes church or school records, or sworn affidavits. For a sample affidavit by both parents, click below.

Sample Affidavit by Both Parents

Alternatively, if either or both parents are not living, then the missing affidavit(s) can be signed by any other close relative older than the applicant, who is not party to the application and who has direct knowledge of the birth event and circumstances. Two affidavits are required. For a sample of the affidavit, click below.

Sample Affidavit by Close Relative

The affidavit must specify the relationship between the signer and the applicant, how well the signer knows the applicant, date and place of the applicant's birth, the names of both parents, and any other related facts. The affidavit must be signed and notarized. For a sample affidavit by a close relative, click on the link above. The affidavit can be modified accordingly.

Certificate of Non-Availability:

When a birth certificate does not exist, an affidavit of birth should be accompanied by a "Certificate of Non-availability" issued by a competent governmental authority confirming that the birth certificate does not exist. There is no set format for certificates of non-availability, but the document must indicate the reason the record does not exist, and indicate whether similar records for the time and place are available. If a birth certificate is not available and the FAM does not specify which documents should be submitted in place of the birth certificate, acceptable alternative documentation (in addition to the certificate of nonavailability) includes church or school records, or sworn affidavits.


Any document containing foreign language submitted to the USCIS must be accompanied by the full English translation, which the translator has certified as complete and accurate, and the translator must certify that s/he is competent to translate from the foreign language into English. The translation must be done by a third party (non-family member).

Certification of Translation

I, ________________________, certify that I am familiar with the English and ___________________________languages, and certify that the above is a correct and accurate translation of the following documents attached hereto.

Date :______________________      ______________________________                                                                     Name of Signer