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Name Issues in Birth Certificate for America Green Card

Incomplete/Incorrect Information in Birth Certificate

If the birth certificate is available, but it does not have enough information (such as no name) or has incorrect information (such as spelling mistakes), it is best if you can get it corrected from the original issuing authority.

If that is not possible, the secondary evidence should be submitted along with the certificate. 

The affidavit should include a correction of the incorrect information. 

Your personal sworn statement (affidavit) is not acceptable unless there is other evidence to substantiate it.

No Name in Birth Certificate

It is a religious custom in some countries, such as India, to not name the child immediately after the birth. Therefore, hospitals records and/or birth records may not show the name of the child, even if the birth was reported and registered. It may just say, “A baby boy / baby girl was born to so and so parents”. Therefore, the birth certificate may just have “baby boy”, “baby girl”, or just a dash in the field for the name.

If it is possible, you can get the name added later in the birth certificate. As the naming ceremony occurs shortly after the birth, it would be best if you can get the name added right away after that and within one year of birth. If that has not happened, you can get the name added later by paying some nominal late fee, and if you can do that, you are all set. You should carry an affidavit from parents/relative and copies of the school certificates (10th or 12th class), residence proof of parent/applicant, the applicant’s passport, or any other document that may be required.

Otherwise, you will need to submit the secondary evidence should be submitted along with the certificate. 

The affidavits that are submitted can indicate, among other things:

“This affidavit is being submitted because the official record of birth is incomplete concerning <your full name>. It is a religious custom in India to name the child after its birth in a religious ceremony. Therefore, the child’s name was not recorded in the original birth registration.”

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Different Name in Birth Certificate

A person who has used a different name from the one shown on the birth certificate, must produce a document explaining the use of such name. The following documents are commonly available as evidence:

  1. Baptismal certificate
  2. Deed poll
  3. School records showing early use of adopted name.

If none of the foregoing documents are available, any other document or combination of documents, which appear to resolve the difference in names will be considered. Your personal sworn statement is not acceptable unless there is other evidence to substantiate it.

Cultural Variations of the Same Name

Many times, the person has not changed his/her name at all. However, there are different variations of the same name in different documents. That occurs due to cultural matters in different parts of the country where respect tags such as Bhai, Ben, Kumar, Kumari, Chandra, Lal, Sheth, Rao, Prasad, Shri, Shrimati, Ji, etc. are used. Many of these tags are added purely for respect purpose, similar to Mr. or Mrs. in the U.S.

E.g., one document says the name is “Suresh” while another document says “Sureshbhai”, and yet another document says “Sureshkumar”, and so forth.

In this case, please submit your birth certificate along with the secondary evidence

Additionally, submit an affidavit from yourself indicating that all of these variations are essentially the same and should not be considered as a name change. Generally, an affidavit from yourself is not accepted, but in this case, it is accepted, as long as you provide secondary evidence along with it. 

In case one or both of your parents have this variation in their names (e.g., you are sponsoring your brother, and your father’s name in your birth certificate is “Suresh”, but in your brother’s birth certificate, it is “Sureshbhai”), your parents and/or close relatives can write in their affidavit regarding this variation of names.

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