Many of our clients come to our office wondering if they may still apply for adjustment of status despite the fact that they have no birth certificate. At times, our clients come to us after they have been issued a Request for Evidence (RFE) for not submitting a birth certificate in the initial evidence. In short, it is absolutely possible to adjust status without a birth certificate.
It is a common occurrence in many foreign countries that a birth occurs without any record being made of that individual’s birth. Although many countries have adopted legislation which requires the registration of births, it does not always happen for one reason or another. Further, the individuals who were born previous to the enactment of the legislation will still be left without birth certificates.
Under the regulations, there are a few options for a person without a birth certificate. First, the individual must request a Non-availability of birth record from the town or city municipality or registrar of birth records in the place where their birth occurred. The statement is an attestation by the registrar that the registry was search for records of the individual and no such records were found. Secondly, the applicant for adjustment of status must provide secondary evidence such as affidavits by individuals such as a relative who were alive during the individual’s birth and can attest to the same. If affidavits cannot be made available, other secondary evidence such as school records, medical records, or church records may be submitted in lieu of the affidavits. Depending on the particular country, the Department of State may list the types of secondary evidence which may or may not be available in a particular country. In certain countries, the Department of State may have found that even the non-availability of birth certificate statement cannot be attained; this would relieve the applicant from this burden but require him or her to provide further secondary evidence.
If you do not have a birth certificate and are applying for adjustment of status, or have received an RFE on the initial evidence, contact Attorney Hashim G. Jeelani to help you with your case.