The term ‘birth certificate’ refers to the official and certified document of a person’s birth record, which contains basic information about the person and his/her parents.
It is generally considered as the most common Form of an individual’s identification as a state citizen. If you want to apply for a green card, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Department of State require a birth certificate in both processes; adjustment of status and immigrant visa applications.
USCIS has specific requirements for the format and content of birth certificates. If the birth certificate does not bear the required content and format may not be adequate to satisfy the evidence of birth requirement. An acceptable birth certificate must be issued by the local government or state authority that contains following information;
- Full name at birth
- Date of birth
- Place of birth
- Full name of both parents
- Issuing authority
- Date of issuance
- Seal or other certification
When filing Form I-485, the applicant must submit a photocopy of birth certificate (original or certified copy).
Although there are certain exceptions for asylees and refugees of those countries in which state government or local authorities didn’t issue official birth certificates at the time of birth. Along with this, people who have non-institutional birth (born outside of a traditional hospital or with the assistance of a midwife) also face this issue.
Still if they want to apply for citizenship, the question arises ‘how to get citizenship without a birth certificate’?
If you are looking to answer this question, then this article will provide you with a complete guideline about getting citizenship without a birth certificate.
Across the globe, there are thousands of people who face this issue every year. To address this significant apprehension, the U.S. government created an alternate method to prove legal identity in a specific country.
How to prove Citizenship without a Birth Certificate if you are a U.S. national?
To prove U.S. citizenship, a person must present a birth certificate and government-issued identity card. The U.S. Government maintains the records of all citizens born in the U.S. and issues their birth certificates. If you were born in the U.S. but didn’t have a birth certificate, you should contact the U.S. Health Department to inquire about your birth certificate. They will assist you further with how you can get your birth certificate.
Furthermore, people who have non-institutional birth (born outside the hospital with the help of a midwife) are not registered in governmental birth records. In this case, midwives typically file the birth registration, affirm all the required detail and sign their birth certificates. The applicant can use the midwives’ signed birth certificate as an alternate document to prove U.S. citizenship. These certificates are also considered legitimate documents that can be used as official government documents for identification.
Moreover, to prevent the fraudulent acts of midwives, U.S. governments usually ask for secondary evidence to prove citizenship, such as your parent’s travel history and residential history, etc. Likewise, you may be asked to present secondary proof of citizenship if you were born outside of a hospital and have previously carried a U.S. passport. It is very important to provide secondary evidence of citizenship as every year, bundle of passport applications is rejected due to insufficient evidence provided by the applicants. In case of denial for your passport, you are recommended to immediately approach any professional advocate to seek advice for alternate ways to prove citizenship.
How to prove citizenship without a birth certificate if you’re not U.S. national?
You may be a U.S. citizen characterized as ‘citizenship by descent’ if you were born outside the country, but one or both of your parents were citizens at the time of your birth. If your parents got naturalization before you were a major (less than 18 years old), you would automatically get citizenship in the United States. Otherwise, you need to file a citizenship application separately and follow all legitimate rules. Furthermore, you can also get citizenship by combining the bloodlines of a parent and a grandmother.
How to apply for Citizenship without a Birth Certificate?
To apply for citizenship without a birth certificate, you have two options;
a) Either you can apply for a passport, OR
b) You can file the Form N-600.
In case of applying for a U.S. passport, you must show certain documents according to the rules and regulations of USCIS for citizenship and immigration processes. While in the case of second option, the application (Form N-600) is used to get a Certificate of Citizenship (acts as proof of your or your child’s citizenship in the U.S.). Moreover, If you were born outside of the United States and claim U.S. citizenship through your parents, you can file Form N-600.
To file Form N-600, there are specific requirements that need to fulfill such as your parents must be a citizen of the United States and you must be a biological child of your parents, not an adopted child or stepchild, etc.
The process is slightly different for adopted children, but according to the law, stepchildren are not allowed to get citizenship on behalf of their parent citizenship. For further query about Form N-600, you can check the website of USCIS.
How to apply for a Passport with a Birth Certificate?
USCIS has stringent rules regarding the documentation for citizenship or immigration. To get your passport, you need to submit all the documents required by USCIS. If you do not fulfill all of those requirements, your application is more likely to get rejected.
Even if you have a birth certificate to apply for a U.S. passport, you still need to follow some requirements, such as a certified copy of your birth certificate with a specific seal on it issued by official hospital authorities, etc. So, you should be very careful about all the legal requirements and processes to get citizenship successfully.