Non available Birth certificate
You need to obtain a certified statement from the appropriate government authority, on their letterhead or on a prescribed form if they have one, stating the reason your birth record is not available or does not exist or no longer exists. This should be from an official ordinarily having custody of such records, or by an appointed deputy that, after diligent search, no record of the event is found to exist. It should also indicate whether similar records for the time place are available.
With the certified statement, you must submit secondary evidence. The affidavits should indicate that no government issued birth certificate is available.
If your birth record has been destroyed or the municipality or village authorities will not issue one, submit a letter from the municipality or village authorities stating so along with the secondary evidence.
If you have not been able to acquire the necessary document or statement from the relevant foreign authority, you should submit evidence that good faith attempts were made to obtain the required document or statement. However, if it is found that such documents are statements are generally available, you must get them.
Example of a letter:
Government of Maharashtra
Department of B.D.O Office, Mumbai
Non-availability Certificate: Issued under The Registration of Births & Deaths Act 1969
This is to certify that a search has been made on the request of _____, son of ______ in the Municipal registration record for the year(s) 1965-1975 relating for Mumbai, Maharashtra and found that the birth record of _______, son of ________ is not registered/available.
Signature of Issuing Authority
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:
- Hospital birth records which name child and both parents.
If available, you can also include a doctor’s or midwife’s certificate, as long as it names child and both parents.
- Medical records which name child with both parents
- School records which name child and both parents.
This would be 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.
- State or Federal Census records which name child and both parents. It should also show the place of birth, date of birth, or the age of the child.
This could be ration card in India.
- 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.
- An adoption decree for an adopted child
- Other legal records such as records of judicial proceeding
- Voters Card
- 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;
a. his/her full name and address;
b. his/her date and place of birth;
c. his/her relationship to you, if you any;
d. full information concerning the event; and complete details concerning how he/she acquired knowledge of the event.
e. These affidavits should address the fact cornering the birth.
Minimum of two affidavits are required. Mother’s affidavit has more weight than 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 relatives may optionally mention why they are submitting this affidavit instead of the parent(s).
Example of affidavit
AFFIDAVIT – BIRTH OF Raj
I, the undersigned, Mr. ______, aged – 63 years, Hindu by religion, residing at ___________, India, do hereby solemnly affirm and declare on oath that:
- I am the deponent herein and a citizen of India.
- I was born on April 13, 1946 Bikaner, Rajasthan, India.
- My sister _______ (mother of Raj) was married to Mr. _____l on Oct 7, 1965 in ________, India.
- Raj was born on Dec 17, 1967 in Bikaner, Rajasthan, India. I have the personal knowledge of Raj’s birth because I am his uncle (mother’s brother) and we are very close relatives and recall Raj’s birth clearly [OR I was immediately informed of her birth OR I was present at the time of her birth.]
- Raj’s full name at the time of birth was given as _____________.
- It is a religious custom in India to name the child after its birth in a religious ceremony. Therefore, Raj’s name was not recorded in the original birth registration. Therefore, the official record of birth is incomplete concerning _______________.
So I do hereby solemnly affirm that foregoing are true and correct statements.
Place: ____________, India
In India, the affidavits should be prepared on at least Rs. 20 stamp papers. Higher amount is fine, but lower is not. An affidavit must be executed before an official authorized to take oaths or affirmations. This can be a magistrate, commissioner of oath, justice of peace etc. However, this in practice, it really means that you go to the city court. In and around the comppound, under the umbrella, under the tree etc., there are so many lawyers around. Just ask one of them to do it and they will take care of it. You don’t have to attend any formal court etc.
If the persons who are signing the affidavit are already in the USA, it can notarized in the USA with any Notary Public.
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 are you submitting and make a statement that it is customary in your country to include only father’s name in legal documents and not both parents.
Non available Marriage certificate
Please obtain a certified statement from the appropriate government authority stating the reason your marriage record is not available. With the certified statement you must submit an affidavit executed by either the parents of the applicant, if living, or other close relatives older than the applicant, all of whom must have personal knowledge of the marriage. The affidavit should set forth the relationship between the deponent and the applicant, how well the deponent knows the applicant, how the deponent comes to know about the facts to which he or she is swearing, date and place of applicant’s marriage, and any other related facts. Note: An affidavit must be executed before an official authorized to take oaths or affirmations (such as First Class Magistrate in India). Information regarding the procedures for obtaining birth certificates is usually available from the embassy or consulate of the country concerned.
Example No availability marriage certificate
Government of Maharashtra
Department of B.D.O Office, Mumbai
Non-availability Certificate: Issued under Section 17 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1969.
This is to certify that a search has been made on the request of _____, son of ___ in the Municipal registration record for the year(s) 1965-1975 relating for Mumbai, Maharashtra and found that the marriage record of______, son of ________ is not registered/available.
Signature of Issuing Authority
Additional information for India – Marriage
Marriages must be registered under the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 if the persons concerned were married under Hindu, Buddhist, Jains or Sikh rites. The Registrar of Marriages will issue a certificate which the consulate will accept as primary evidence of marriage.
If the marriage was performed prior to 1955, two sworn affidavits, giving the names, dates and places of birth of both the bride and groom, together with the date and place of marriage and the names of both parents of both the parties, are acceptable. The affidavits must be executed before a First Class Magistrate by one of the parents of each party, or if the parents are deceased, by the nearest relative of each party who was present at the wedding.
Certificates issued by the appropriate authorities or recognized organizations are acceptable if they are legally valid in India.
For Muslim marriages, please submit a registration certificate from the government appointed Chief Kazi or a registration certificate from the Wakf Board of the area in which the marriage took place. For Christian marriages, please submit a church-issued marriage certificate.
Divorce between Hindus, Christians, and Parsis must be documented by a court order. Divorce between Muslims must be documented by a certificate from the Kazi or the head of the Jammat.