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Document Checklist

Document Checklist

Birth Certificate: Obtain the original, or certified copy, of the birth record of each family member (yourself, your spouse, and all unmarried children under the age of 21, even if they are not immigrating with you.  If the children are deceased, so state giving year of death). The certificate must contain the following: 

  • Person's date of birth;
  • Names of both parents; and
  • Annotation by the appropriate authority indicating that it is an extract from the official records.

Note:  We will not accept the short form version of a UK birth certificate.  The certificate must list both parents'names. 

If your birth certificate is unavailable because: your birth was never officially recorded; your birth records have been destroyed; or the appropriate government authority will not issue one, please obtain a certified statement from the appropriate government authority stating the reason your birth record is not available. With the certified statement you must obtain secondary evidence. For example:

  • A baptismal certificate that contains the date and place of birth and both parent's names providing the baptism took place shortly after birth;
  • An adoption decree for an adopted child; or
  • An affidavit from a close relative, preferably the applicant's mother, stating the date and place of birth, both parent's names, and the mother's maiden name.

If you use a different name from the one shown on the birth certificate, you must produce a document explaining the use of such a name. Most commonly presented documents available as evidence include baptismal certificate/record, a deed poll and/or school records showing early use of name. 

If you were born in India or Pakistan you must present the registration certificate if the birth was registered. If it was not registered, either in the locality or, if a Christian, in church, sworn affidavits may be submitted. Such an affidavit must be executed before an official authorized to take oaths (i.e. a magistrate, commissioner of oaths, justice of the peace or the like) by the mother. If she is deceased, the father may swear to the affidavit. The affidavit should include: 

  • that the applicant's date of birth was not registered;
  • the date of the applicant's birth;
  • the full maiden name of the mother of the applicant;
  • the full name of the applicant's father;
  • the place of the applicant's birth.

If neither parent is alive, the next closest relative, who was old enough and of such relationship as to have personal knowledge of the birth at the time and place it occurred, may execute the affidavit.

Adoption Certificate:  The certificate must show date and place of adoption, along with the names of the adoptive parents. This certificate must be issued by a public authority and show that a public record exists of the adoption.

Police Certificates:  Police certificates are required for all countries you have lived in for more than 12 months over the age of 16 years.  Certificates are also required of military personnel.  Police certificates must be obtained from a police authority.  A police certificate is also required for each country where an applicant has been arrested for any reason, regardless of how long he/she lived there.  Police certificates from certain countries are unavailable or are obtained directly by this office. Detailed country-specific information can also be found at the Department of State's website

Please note that many countries require fingerprints to process police certificates for immigration purposes. Police certificates from those countries completed without the required fingerprints are not valid.

Information about obtaining police certificates is listed out country by country on the Department reciprocity page.  If an applicant is required to obtain fingerprints in order to apply for the police certificate, applicants must not capture their own.  A list of UK police forces which offer a fingerprint service for overseas requirements is available here (PDF- 338 Kb).

Applicants should not attempt to to obtain police certificates for the few countries where it is documented that police certificates are not available. 

Note: UK police certificates are valid for one (1) year only.  All other foreign police certificates are valid indefinitely, unless the applicant has traveled to the country in the last year.  Bearing in mind this information, applicants must ensure that a valid police certificate is presented at the time of their appointment. 

Police Certificates for the United Kingdom:  A visa applicant who has resided in the United Kingdom for 6 months or more since the age of 16, is required to obtain a police certificate from the ACPO Criminal Records Office (ACRO). Further information is available from their website at This police certificate will serve to advise the U.S. Embassy, London whether or not any criminal conviction is held against him/her.  The police certificate will be sent to the applicant's address provided at the time of application. Please note that the Immigrant Visa Unit considers the police certificate valid for 12 months from the date of issuance, not six months as stated on the certificate. If the police certifiate states "No Trace" or "No Live Trace", please be prepared to discuss your arrests/cautions/convictions with the consular officer on the day of the interview. 

Court and Prison Records:  Persons who have been convicted of a crime must obtain a certified copy of each court record and any prison record, regardless of the fact that he or she may have subsequently benefited from an amnesty, pardon or other act of clemency or the United Kingdom Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. (DOES NOT APPLY TO APPLICANTS CONVICTED IN THE United Kingdom)

Court records should include:Complete information regarding the circumstance surrounding the crime of which the applicant was convicted and the disposition of the case, including sentence or other penalty or fine imposed


Affidavit of Support:  Form I-864, a contractual affidavit of support, must be submitted for most family-based applicants and employment-based applicants when a relative is the petitioner or has ownership interest in the petitioner's business.

Employment based visa applicants must show a recent letter from their employer confirming that the job offer upon which their application is based is still available to them. Qualified nurses must also present their Visa Screen Certificate. All other applicants must show evidence that they are not likely to become public charges while in the United States.
Use of the form I-134 is an efficient way to provide this information to the Consular Officer.



Medical Examination

  • Thread All immigrant visa applicants, including fiancé(e) visa applicants must schedule a medical examination with the Embassy-appointed medical practitioner prior to a visa appointment being scheduled for them.  Additional information about the medical examination, including how to arrange an appointment, is available here