Importance of Accurate & Consistent Birth Documents in Immigration Filings

The Murthy Law Firm routinely receives calls from individuals asking how to deal with birth documents that have incorrect information. Foreign nationals seeking to apply for U.S. immigration benefits should ensure that the birth information on official documents, like birth certificates and passports, is accurate. Additionally, there should be consistency between primary birth documents and secondary evidence that may be provided to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Importance of Accurate Birth Documents

The USCIS requires foreign nationals to provide birth documents for several application types, such as when filing the application to adjust status (form I-485). Similarly, birth documents may need to be submitted when applying for visas at U.S. consulates. U.S. government agencies rely on these documents to establish important facts about applicant identity, including date of birth, place of birth, and parentage. These are facts that foreign nationals also assert or attest to in their applications.

Strive to Correct Inaccurate Information on Official Documents

When there is incorrect information on a birth document or secondary birth evidence that is intended for inclusion with an application, that information should be corrected before filing the application or petition. It is important that the information in the birth documents are both accurate and that they match what the foreign national is asserting as true in the application or petition. Furthermore, consistency in information between all documents provided to immigration officials should be maintained.

Any Inaccuracies or Inconsistencies Should be Explained or Resolved

Should time or other hurdles make it difficult to have an error on a document corrected before filing the application or petition, inaccuracies or inconsistencies can be explained through documents that may accompany the application, like an affidavit attesting to the correct information. Incorrect information should not be provided on a form in order to match a mistake on a birth document.


Providing incorrect and/or inconsistent information to immigration officials can lead to potential long-term problems. If corrected documents cannot be obtained, or if documents or information with incorrect information has already been submitted, one should discuss with a qualified immigration attorney how best to minimize the damage, if possible, and ensure the legal implications are understood.

While some aspects of immigration have changed significantly in the years since MurthyDotCom began publishing articles in 1994, there is much that is still the same. From time to time, we at the Murthy Law Firm refer our clients to articles, like this one, which remains relevant.


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Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.