I am an Indian citizen. The U.S. Government needs my birth certificate for green card processing, but my birth certificate is either lost or contains insufficient information. What can I do?
This is a sample question to highlight the importance of the Visa Reciprocity Tables, found at travel.state.gov/visa/fees/fees_3272.html. Among other functions, the Tables provide country-specific pages with detailed information to obtain proper civil documents (such as birth, marriage, divorce, and police records) for each country. They will often offer alternatives, as well, where the proper civil documents cannot be acquired.
Returning to our question, the Visa Reciprocity Table for India recommends the following:
“In cases where birth certificates from the authorities are unavailable or contain insufficient information regarding the birth or the parents, a sworn affidavit executed by either the parents, if living, or other close relatives older than the applicant, may be submitted. It should set forth the relationship between the deponent and the applicant, how well the deponent knows the applicant, date and place of the applicant's birth, the names of both parents, and any other related facts.”
As a result, the Indian citizen may either attempt to obtain a new birth certificate or solicit a sworn affidavit from his or her parents or other close relatives if her parents are deceased.