Bianca Rodriguez, “Do you need a long or short form birth certificate for the I-130? And how do I know, which one I have? I have a CRBA.” So, CRBA is Consular Report of Birth Abroad. But excellent question Bianca. The short answer is that you need the long form, and how to tell if it’s the long form or the short form is whether or not it includes both parent’s names and information them. But to be sure, you definitely need your birth certificate with both parent’s names on it. Some of those short forms do not include that information. So, that’s the best way to tell. Now, obviously we work with quite a few different countries and every country is different, but just make sure all that information’s included. Some countries don’t actually refer to it by short form or long form like we do here in the United States, but again, just make sure it has your name and then the parent’s names, both parent’s names. That’s probably the one that can decipher that.
Bottom line is you need the most accurate, the most official, the most lengthy whatever word you want to use, birth certificate that’s available from that country. And because there are a couple hundred countries, and even within the countries for the United States is a good example, every state has a different birth certificate, and even within the states as you go back the years and decades those birth certificates have changed. So, adding all that up there are thousands of formats of birth certificates going back over the years, so it’s impossible to really sit here and say you need exactly this birth certificate. But what we do know is, it has to include the parents, but that even itself is not necessarily everything because I think Costa Rica issues one that has parents on it but it’s not acceptable, and I’m sure there are others. And so, you really need the most acceptable one.
Now, if you want an absolute definitive answer there is a place on the state department website where you can lookup and they can tell you basically exactly what documents we’re looking at. Obviously I don’t know that long link off the top of my head, but if you want to contact us we can help you with that. But really, if you’re going down to pick one up, what I would say to the clerk or person you’re talking to is, “Look, I want the most complete, most official, longest, whatever the absolute best one you can get.” And that’s going to be what you need.
Disclaimer: The information herein is not intended as legal advice and is provided for general information only.Questions involving interpretation of specific U.S. laws should be addressed to an attorney and/or government officials.