Requirements for Birth Certificate (born in Mainland China) & Obtaining My Birth Certificate without travelling back to China

Birth certificate is a document required in many US immigration applications. In practice, many people have questions about this document. This article will discuss the requirements for birth certificate for people who were born in Mainland China, and some information about applicants obtaining the birth certificate without physically going back to China.

First of all, applicants should know which “certificate” the right document is to submit. The Notary Public Offices in China issue two types of “birth certificate”. One is to notarize applicant’s medical birth certificate. The other one is to notarize applicant’s information regarding her birth and her relationship with parents. For US immigration application purposes, the second type of birth certificate is the one required to submit.

Second, applicants should acknowledge the requirements of the birth certificate. According to the US Department of State Reciprocity Schedule, the birth certificate (born in Mainland China) should be issued by the Local Notary Public Office. It should indicate the applicant’s name, gender, date of birth, ID number, place of birth, both parents’ names, and contain a seal. Although the medical birth certificate indicates applicant’s date and place of birth, and parents’ information, it is not issued by the Notary Public Office. Therefore, applicants who were born in Mainland China should obtain the birth certificate from the Notary Public Office (Gong Zheng Chu).

On the other hand, in the Reciprocity Schedule, there are no requirements regarding applicant’s photo or the location of the issuing Notary Public Office. In practice, the specific notary officer often requires the applicant to submit an ID-style photo and demands the applicant to obtain the document at the Office in her birthplace (or her registration place). However, for US immigration application purposes, it doesn’t matter whether the birth certificate contains the applicant’s photo, or which Office issues the birth certificate. The birth certificate is acceptable in immigration applications so long as it fulfills the requirements in the Reciprocity Schedule.

Generally, the applicant should physically go to the Notary Public Office by herself. However, for birth certificate, the applicant can entrust others to handle the process. The applicant will need to prepare a letter of authorization or a letter of entrustment. With the letter, the entrusting individual then visit the Notary Public Office and obtain the birth certificate on the applicant’s behalf.

Many clients of us had difficulties finding an entrusting individual. They either have left hometown too long time, or their family or friends in China are busy or elderly. They asked for help from us. Please feel free to contact us if you have similar troubles, or questions about the requirements about immigration applications! Attorneys at Law Office of Hong-min Jun are working remotely during the pandemic. You can reach us via email, Facebook, telephone, and website. Please contact us if you are in need of filing extensions or visas, preparing for responding USCIS requests, or any other immigration law consultations.