Common Documents Need For Green Card Application

Depending on an immigrant’s individual circumstances and how he is getting his green card (for example, through marriage to a U.S. citizen or by being sponsored by an employer), he will need to provide different types of documents to USCIS and/or the U.S. embassy or consulate. Below are some common required documents and how to obtain them.

It is important to note that if a document is originally written in a foreign language, the immigrant will need to provide a translation of the document along with a copy of the original certified document.

  • Birth Certificates

Every immigrant will be required to provide a certified birth certificate with his green card application. This includes a child who is immigrating with his parents. For family-based immigration categories, the Petitioner will also need to provide a birth certificate.

For country-specific guidelines on how to obtain a certified birth certificate, visit https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/Visa-Reciprocity-and-Civil-Documents-by-Country.html and click on the country where your birth certificate was issued, then click on “Birth, Death, Burial Certificates.”

  • Marriage Certificates

If an immigrant is married, he will be required to provide a certified marriage certificate. For country-specific guidelines on how to obtain a certified marriage certificate, visit https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/Visa-Reciprocity-and-Civil-Documents-by-Country.html and click on the country where your marriage certificate was issued, then click on “Marriage, Divorce Certificates.”

  • Divorce Decrees

If an immigrant has terminated a marriage, whether through divorce or annulment, he will be required to provide a certified record of marriage termination. If he has been divorced or had a marriage annulled more than once, he will need to provide a record for each divorce or annulment. For country-specific guidelines on how to obtain a certified divorce or annulment record, visit https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/Visa-Reciprocity-and-Civil-Documents-by-Country.html and click on the country where you were divorced, then click on “Marriage, Divorce Certificates.”

  • Police Certificates

A green card applicant who will have his interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad and who has lived in any country for six months or more after the age of 16 will need a police certificate from each country where he lived for six months or more after turning 16. For country-specific guidelines on how to obtain a police certificate, visit https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/Visa-Reciprocity-and-Civil-Documents-by-Country.html and click on the country from which you will be requesting the police certificate, then click on “Police, Court, Prison Records.”

  • Proof of U.S. citizenship for your Petitioner

For family-based immigrant categories, an immigrant will often need to prove that his Petitioner is a U.S. citizen. Generally, this will be accomplished by providing a certified birth certificate from a U.S. state or territory. Some Petitioners are naturalized U.S. citizens, in which case they may provide a Certificate of Naturalization or a U.S. passport to prove their citizenship.

  • National Identity Card

Not every country has national identity cards, but if you are immigrating from a country which does provide national identity cards, you may be required to provide a copy of yours. If you do not have a current national identity card, visit https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/Visa-Reciprocity-and-Civil-Documents-by-Country.html and click on the country, then click “Identity Card” for country-specific guidelines on obtaining your identity card.

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