I asked this earlier:

How to help my mother in law migrate - no lawyer wanted!

Thanks to many it has led me to at least print the form and understand the requirements. It appears based on the USCIS website this specific page:


This specific section:

mother lives outside the United States, Form I-130 A copy of your birth certificate showing your name and your mother’s name A copy of your Certificate of Naturalization or U.S. passport if you were not born in the United States

It looks as though filing for a mother is probably the easiest case...thank God. In any event what concerns me is my wife was born in Iraq. The village she was from is tiny and there are no birth certificates. One of the requirements is that a birth certificate is needed. Given that she has no birth certificate and the country pretty much has no real government what are our options? I can only imagine others have run into this in the past. It may be difficult to get 2 people (as affidavits) to help with this as most people from this country are weary about giving out personal information such as address, phone, etc.

What are my options regarding not being able to fulfill the requirement of having a birth certificate?

2 Answers 2


The US State Department has this to say about Iraqi birth certificates:

Alternate Documents: Family Book "Qayd 57" issued by the Nationality Directorate (Mudeeriyat Al-Jenssiyah)

Comments: If the Ministry of Health has no record of the subject's birth, either because the birth was never registered, or because the record was lost (i.e. during a fire, etc), then the subject can appear at the Nationality Directorate and present his family's identifications and they affirm that the subject-to-be-registered was in fact born on "x" date. The Nationality Directorate uses that information to register the birth via a document called "Family Book", which is like the family tree of the immediate family.


The State Department's Visa Reciprocity and Country Documents page lists what documents are acceptable from each country. For Iraq, it seems that a birth certificate from the Ministry of Health, or, alternatively, a "Family Book" from the Nationality Directory, are acceptable.

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