Civil Documents for Immigrant Visa
Please obtain the original documents or certified copies from an appropriate authority (the issuing entity) for yourself and each family member who will accompany you to the United States. Submit them along with one photocopy. All documents that pertain to your petition are required, even if they were previously submitted to the USCIS with your petition.

Civil documents must bear an original signature, stamp and seal of the issuing office or registrar. Copies certified by attorneys, Justice of the Peace, Notary Public etc., are not acceptable.

For any document not in English, a notarized translation is required in addition to the original.

Only one original or certified copy of each document must be submitted with the visa application. You are advised, however, to obtain the necessary documents in duplicate, as this will enable you to provide identical copies in the event the first set is lost or damaged.

  • Birth Certificates

    Each applicant must submit an original and a clear photocopy of his/her birth certificate.

    Birth certificate must be presented for all unmarried children under age 21 even if they do not wish to immigrate at this time. If children are deceased, so state, giving year of death. If any adopted children will apply later, you must submit a certified copy of the adoption decree or deed. Photocopies are acceptable provided the original is available for inspection by the consular officer.

  • Court and Prison Records

  • Deportation Documentation
    Applicants who have previously been deported or removed at government expense from the United States must use Form I-212, Permission to Reapply after Deportation and follow the instructions included on that form.

  • Marriage Certificate

    Any applicant who has ever been married must provide an original and a clear photocopy of the marriage certificate(s) for all marriages of the petitioner and of the visa applicant.

    If husband and wife are applying together for an immigrant visa, only one original marriage certificate is required among both of them.

  • Prior Marriage Termination Documentation

  • Military records

  • Police certificates

  • Petitioner Documents
    Applicants in the IR-5 (Parent of a U.S. Citizen who is at least 21 years old) and F4 (Brothers and sisters of United States Citizens) visa categories must submit:
    1. An original or certified copy of their Petitioner's birth certificate.

    2. An original or certified copy of their Petitioner's marriage certificate from the Petitioner's current all previous marriages.

  • Photocopy of Valid Passport Biographic Data Page
    Each applicant must submit a photocopy of the biographic data page of the valid passport. Biographic data page shows the applicant's name, date and place of birth.

    Applicant should NOT send the actual passport to NVC.

  • Custody Documentation
    The adoptive parent and/or petitioner must provide:
    1. A certified copy of the adoption decree;

    2. The legal custody decree; if custody occurred before the adoption;

    3. A statement showing dates and places where child resided with the parents; and

    4. If the child was adopted while aged 16 or 17 years, evidence that the child was adopted together with, or subsequent to the adoption of, a natural sibling under age 16 by the same adoptive parent(s).

  • Photographs

    Two photographs for each applicant.

    Photograph should be stapled or glued in the upper left-hand corner of the Form DS-230, Part I (Immigrant Visa Application). The staples should be placed as far away as possible from the applicant's face.

    Do not include photos in glassine or other types of envelopes.

Dept. of State - Reciprocity Guide by Country