US I-485 RFE Birth Certificate

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Overview

Request for Evidence issued for Birth Certificate is one of the most common requests from USCIS. The Adjustment of Status application requires submission of a copy of birth certificate issued to the applicant at the time of birth by the local administration in the home country. The DOB & Place of birth listed on Passport or letter issued by consulate is not considered valid substitutes by USCIS



RFE

We have seen following different request's relating to Birth Certificates from USCIS. Also presented below are the suggested responses to the RFE

1) Birth Certificate is not in English. In case the applicants home country has issued a BC that is not in English. USCIS requires a certified English translation of the document. The translator must certify that s/he is competent to translate and that the translation is accurate.

The certification format should include the certifier's name, signature, address, and date of certification. A suggested format is:

Certification by Translator

I [typed name], certify that I am fluent (conversant) in the English and ________ languages, and that the above/attached document is an accurate translation of the document attached entitled ______________________________.

Signature_________________________________ Date Typed Name

                                                    Address

Please NOTE that translator should not be linked to your AOS application.

The sample certification is in the link here: USCIS

The document should be signed by the translator in presence of a Notary, who will also sign and stamp the document.

Applicants can also enlist the help of professional translation agencies that specialize in doing such work. These documents are accepted by USCIS. A simple google search for "certified translation" will list number of such agencies. They support translation from most languages. They charge around $50 - $100 / document and can take up to about 7 days to mail the document, though many services ship in 24 hours or less.


2) Birth Certificate not available In case applicants BC was not registered at the time of birth the applicant needs to prepare well in advance of filing the I 485 application to ensure that this RFE can be answered. The first thing to do is to try to get the birth registered in home country/ municipal corporation. Most folks will get a BC with all relevant info but an issue date of the year in which it was created. In such cases CIS might seek additional documents to supplement your BC which can include Baptism Certificate or Std 10th / 12th certificates or school leaving certificates. Any documents that list your parents names and your DOB can be used as additional documentation. In case applicant cannot get his/her BC registered then he/ she needs to get a non availability certificate from the local administration which details the reasons why a BC cannot be issued. In this case applicant needs to get sworn affidavits from two people who have direct knowledge of the applicants birth. This can include parents or relatives or any people who were present at applicants birth and were not minors at that time. These affidavits along with non availability certificates and any supplemental documentation will help the case. For non availability certificates one can use the following templates for guidance.

Issuing Authority

Municipal Corporation

Non-availability Certificate: Issued under The Registration of Births & Deaths Act 1969

This is to certify that a search has been made on the request of <your name>, son of <father’s name> and <mother's name> in the Municipal registration record for the year(s) 1965-1975 relating for City, State and found that the birth record of <your name>, son of <father’s name> and <mother's name> is not registered/available.

Signature of Issuing Authority

Seal:Date: <today’s date>

3) Birth Certificate names not matching passport This is again a fairly common issue where the applicants name / other details does not exactly match the information on passport. This is very complex RFE to answer. Example is Candidates names were changed from what was listed in BC to what was entered in School. In such case CIS demands proof of name change done. The other more annoying issue is where due to cultural issues in home country titles are added to names example in India having Kumar, Kumari, Prasad, Rao, Bhai or Ben added to the names. Subsequently these are dropped off the names since these are not actually part of names but are more of cultural titles added to the name. In this case a certificate from professional translation agency stating that all these titles were never part of names might help. Also supplimental documentation mentioned above can be added to provide a consistency to names of applicant. For cases where names are not matching or spellings are different the applicant should prepare affidavits as mentioned above and provide relevant supplemental documentation that can provide context and consistency to applicants name.

In case applicant has a BC which does not have all the requisite information that USCIS needs. Then it is recommended that applicant prepares affidavits (as mentioned above) these affidavits should have all the information that is mentioned in BC and be supplemented with missing information. This is especially valid in cases where BC do not have mothers name listed. Here is a recommended sample of all the attributes that should be captured in the affidavit


Recommended information for Affidavit

Child's Name

Father's Name

Mother's Name

Birth Date

Birth Time

Day of the Week (Mon - Sun)

Gender of Child

Father Details Age / Occupation/ Full Address

Mothers Details Age/ Occupation/ Full Address/ Marital Status (Married Divorcee Widow...)

Nationality of Parents

Registration Date

Hospital / Maternity home address


Some people have been asking if Birth Certificate or supporting document issued by local consulate of the applicants country in US can be submitted to USCIS. Although most lawyers have stated that USCIS does not recognize any birth certifications issued by the embassy / consulates because these documents are based off the information that's registered in passport and CIS does not agree with it. Though there have been some cases where applicants in past have claimed to have successfully used it. Its not recommended that applicants use this as only option when submitting I 485 documentation. Perhaps this can be used an additional document but definitely not as primary proof of birth related information.

WARNING: Please note that RFE on AOS application is a serious matter and applicants are recommended to enlist the help of a qualified immigration attorney before responding to the query. Incomplete or unsatisfactory response can seriously jeopardize your AOS application. The above mentioned recommendations should be treated as statutory in nature. Immigration lawyers are qualified and have most updated information on USCIS needs.

Timelines Usually USCIS will give 4 weeks to respond to queries on BC. Please note this time starts from the moment query is issued and it takes 5-7 days to receive the actual contents of RFE by post so the applicant has 3 weeks to answer the query so it is recommended that applicant is well prepared in advance if he/ she sees any similarity to above mentioned cases.

External Reference Links

Murthy FAQ (Includes BC related questions)

Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP

Sample Affidavit from GA State Website

Certified Translation Resources

Sample Affidavit from CO State Website

Hammond Law Group alternate documentation for BC

Sample Affidavit of Birth

Sample for Unavailiblity Certificate

I 485 and BC related links

Further Info and Discussions

Problems with birth certificates
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