Certain personal documents, such as a birth certificate, must be provided to the immigration authorities when filing immigration applications or petitions. In some cases, these documents may be unavailable or impossible to obtain. For example, the facility where birth certificates were stored may have burned down, or the immigrant may live in a war-torn area where government authority was non-existent when he or she was born and such documents were never created.
What If You Cannot Locate or Obtain the Required Documents?
If you can’t obtain the required document, even after contacting all the appropriate government offices, the U.S. immigration authorities will recognize certain types of substitutes. For example, if your birth certificate was destroyed in a fire, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may accept an affidavit by people who knew you; to prove your date of birth and who your parents are, along with a letter from the government agency in your country stating that the fire took place and that all records from the relevant time period were lost.
The instructions included with USCIS forms typically outline the other types of evidence that USCIS accepts. Read them carefully. If you still have any questions about substituting affidavits in lieu of documents required by the USCIS or any other immigration matters, contact our immigration attorneys at the Law Offices of Azita M. Mojarad, P.C. Our experienced immigration attorneys can advise you on what actions to take to ensure proper submission of your petition or application to avoid any processing delays.