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Secondary Evidence Regarding Birth Certificate

If the birth certificate is not complete in all aspects, it alone has insufficient reliability and weight upon which to grant a visa petition.

The non-existence or other unavailability of required evidence creates a presumption of ineligibility. 

Therefore, in addition to the non-availability certificate from the appropriate civil authority, you must supply the additional documentary evidence noted below. Secondary evidence must overcome the unavailability of primary evidence, and affidavits must overcome the unavailability of both primary and secondary evidence. 

Secondary evidence may include, but is not limited to:

  1. Hospital birth records which have the names of the child and both parents.

    If available, you can also include a doctor’s or midwife’s certificate, as long as it has the names of the child and both parents.

  2. Medical records which have the names of the child and both parents.

  3. School records which have the names of the child and both parents.

    This would be a school leaving certificate, mark sheets, matriculation certificate, degree certificate, 10th or 12th class certificate, etc.

    It can also be a letter from the authority (preferably the first school attended) showing the date of admission to the school, the child’s date of birth or age at that time, place of birth, and names of the parents. 

  4. State of Federal Census records which have the names of the child and both parents. It should also show the place of birth, date of birth, or the age of the child.

    This could be a ration card in India.

  5. Church records in the form of a certificate under the seal of the church where the baptism, dedication, presentation, or comparable rite occurred within two months after birth, showing the date and place of child’s birth, date of the religious ceremony, and the names of the child’s parents.

  6. An adoption decree for an adopted child 

  7. Other legal records, such as records of judicial proceedings

  8. Voter’s Card

  9. Driver’s license

  10. PAN Card 

  11. Passport – Current or Expired 

  12. Two written statements, sworn to or affirmed by at least two persons who were living at the time and who have personal knowledge of the events you are trying to prove (for example, the date and place of birth). The persons making the statements (affidavits) may be your relatives and need not be citizens of the United States. However, affidavits written by the petitioner or the beneficiary(ies) are not acceptable. Each affidavit should contain the following information regarding the persons making the affidavit; his/her full name and address; his/her date and place of birth; his/her relationship to you, if any; full information concerning the event; and complete details concerning how he/she acquired knowledge of the event. These affidavits should address the fact cornering the birth.

    A minimum of two affidavits are required. The mother’s affidavit has more weight than the father’s. Three are preferable. If the both or either parents are alive, the affidavit(s) should be prepared by them.

    Other close relatives, such as uncle, aunt, parents’ cousins, sibling, or any one who was preferably an adult at the time of birth (if that is not possible, at least ten years old) can submit the affidavit. If no relatives are available, you can also get the affidavits from neighbors or friends. They should have the direct personal knowledge of the birth event and circumstances. Such people may optionally mention why they are submitting this affidavit instead of the parent(s).

    Sample Affidavits

    Affidavit Preparation Tips

The affidavits are mandatory. It is not a good idea to just send other secondary evidence without the affidavits. It is best to send both: the affidavits and secondary evidence.

Many of the above documents listed as the secondary evidence (except the affidavits, of course) may list only father’s name and not both parents. It is fine to submit them. However, please write a cover letter indicating all the documents that you are submitting, and make a statement that it is customary in your country to include only the father’s name in legal documents and not both parents.

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