If an adjustment of status applicant cannot produce an original or certified copy of a birth certificate, he or she will need to submit alternative evidence of birth. (The applicant may also need a certificate of non-availability. See our article on Evidence of Birth for Adjustment of Status for a detailed explanation.) In the absence of any secondary evidence such as church, school, hospital or medical records, two affidavits of birth may be submitted with Form I-485. This article describes the requirements for an affidavit and includes a sample affidavit of birth.
Birth Affidavit Requirements
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as well as the Department of State have strict requirements for affidavits of birth. In order for an applicant to meet the burden of proof, the immigration officer will examine the birth affidavit for its probative value and credibility. For these reasons, an affidavit of birth should meet these requirements:
- State the applicant’s full name, place of birth, date of birth, and the full names of both of the applicant’s parents.
- Include the full names of both parents of the applicant regardless of who writes the affidavit. For example, if an uncle executes an affidavit for you, his affidavit must list both of your parents’ names.
- State how the writer knows of the applicant’s birth. For example, your mother should state that she knows your date of birth because she gave birth to you. Your uncle or another family member may indicate they were present for the birth at the hospital.
- Write out dates with month, day and year. For example, use “May 10, 1980,” instead of “5/1/80.”
- List the first, middle and last name of each person whose name appears in the affidavit. This includes the applicant, the person signing the affidavit and both of the applicant’s parents’ names. Do not use initials even if this is your country’s naming custom.
- Ensure that the names listed in the affidavit appear exactly as they do in the adjustment of status forms.
- State the mother’s name as her current married name. Her name before marriage (or maiden name) should follow in parenthesis. For example, Jennifer Marie Williams (maiden name Eckerson).
Who Can Write an Affidavit
The person who writes an affidavit is an “affiant.” Affiants may be relatives of the applicant and do not have to be U.S. citizens. It’s very common for parents to write affidavits for the applicant. However, any individuals who were alive at the time of the applicant’s birth and were aware of the birth may act as the affiant. There is an important exception – the affiant may not be submitting an application for permanent resident at the same time. For example, the parents of an applicant may not act as affiants if they too are submitting Form I-485 to adjust status.
Sample Affidavit of Birth
In this sample affidavit of birth, the affiant is the person who has first-hand knowledge of the birth and the applicant is the person submitting Form I-485. If you are using our template, you’ll need to modify it to your specific situation.
Please note that there is more than one way to write an affidavit. Although there are requirements as described above, various attorneys may have their own preferences on how to write the affidavit of birth.