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? asked in Politics & GovernmentImmigration · 7 years ago

Complicated REF after Green Card Interview.?

I am getting into a desperate situation and I have no clue how to proceed.

Me and my wife applied for our Green Card earlier this year through a lawyer.

I am a citizen of Sweden, I was illegally born in Iran because my mom had to escape after the revolution. My name never got registered in the Iranian system, and there' no proof of me being born there. In my Swedish Passport and Swedish Citizen Certificate it says that I was born in Iran. But I have no Iranian documents whatsoever.

At the interview we had the worst nightmare interviewee that seemed to exist to make our life hell but all the marriage questions went well. It seems like USCIS had attempted to reach my lawyer about needing a birth certificate from Iran, now our lawyer kind of messed things up for us by NOT responding and ignoring their letter and we found this out at the interview. The interviewee told us she could deny her case right away, but gave us 84 days to receive the document needed.

Now comes the best and most confusing part of all. The document they need doesn't exist.

She gave me three pages, on the first page she marked this:

"Birth Certificate of beneficiary Rostam-- -- -- and English translation - See attachment from the Foreign Affairs Manual as to birth certificate availability from Iran"

On the second page:

X, Submit a copy of the applicant's foreign birth certificate issued by the appropriate civil authority. If the document is in a language other than English, you must submit a copy of the foreign language document and an English translation.

If the birth certificate is not available, per title 8 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 103.2(b)(2)(ii), you must submit "an original written statement on government letterhead establishing this from the relevant government or other authority. The statement must indicate the reason the record does not exist, and indicate whether similar records for the time and place are available." If your birth certificate is not available, please submit acceptable secondary evidence including but not limited to church or school records listing your parent's names and your date of birth, hospital records of your birth, etc.

See the department of state's foreign affairs manual found online at for more information on acceptable birth records for people born outside the United States.

Here's what 103.2(b)(2)(ii) say in the title 8 code of federal regulations:

(ii) Demonstrating that a record is not available. Where a record does not exist, the applicant or petitioner must submit an original written statement on government letterhead establishing this from the relevant government or other authority. The statement must indicate the reason the record does not exist, and indicate whether similar records for the time and place are available. However, a certification from an appropriate foreign government that a document does not exist is

not required where the Department of State’s Foreign Affairs Manual indicates this type of document generally does not exist. An applicant or petitioner who has not been able to acquire

the necessary document or statement from the relevant foreign authority may submit evidence that repeated

good faith attempts were made to obtain the required document or statement. However, where USCIS finds that such documents or statements are generally available, it may require that the applicant or petitioner submit the required document or statement.

In the State's Foreign Affairs Manual it says this about Iran and Iranian documents:

Identity certificates (Shenasnameh)

Available. Identity certificates (Shenasnameh) showing the date and place of birth, parents' names, place of residence, and marital history where appropriate, are issued to Iranian nationals in urban centers by the Department of National Registration and Statistics (Edareh Sabt Ahval va Omar) and in rural regions by district (Bakhsh) offices of the Department. These are accepted by the Embassy in lieu of birth certificates for visa purposes. Information contained in these certificates must be evaluated with the understanding that certain data, particularly dates and places, may be inaccurate. No official fee is charged for delivering documents to the applicants. When these documents are requested from abroad, an indefinite waiting period should be expected before a reply is received. Birth or baptismal certificates emanating from ecclesiastic authorities of the church to which non-Moslem applicants belong are frequently of doubtful value. Moslem ecclesiastic authorities in Iran issue no documents to visa applicants.

I underlined the last part because that's what's really confusing me.

I've the Iranian authorities, and there's no way to get that document. No way, getting the ID "Shenasnameh" will take over 6 months and I have about 74 days left.


I've called the Iranian embassy consulate in Washington, they said getting the Shenasnameh can take up to a year. I have contacted my relatives in Iran for them to help me retrieve a document stating that I don't exist in their system but it all just fails, they wont give out anything. I hired a lawyer in Iran and he's trying as well, but I believe he failed too since I haven't heard back from him.

The Iranian Government wont give me any papers, no secondary evidence or paper stating I don't exist in their system. I'm having my mother writing an affidavit with 2 witnesses stating that I was born in Iran. I know this wont help, but I have no idea how to make this work, my lawyers almost got me denied and I'm having a hard time trusting them.

I'm going to call to lawyers inside Iran to see if anything can happen that way. I'm crossing my fingers.

3 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    As a Swedish citizen, you are of course entitled to get help from the Swedish embassy/Swedish authorities. After all, Swedish migration authorities would have wanted birth records from Iran as well, when you first came to Sweden, but seem to have decided to accept the fact that none such documents existed and gave you Swedish citizenship anyway. They must have a record of this somewhere, and may be able to confirm this fact to the satisfaction of the US govt?

    You have nothing left to lose, why not contact the Swedish embassy or consulate to see what they can do, if anything? Or the Migration Board?

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  • 7 years ago

    I would immediately consult an English-speaking Iranian attorney and ask for advice. It may cost you a penny and may even be money wasted, but without the document needed or even proof that you did whatever was in your power to obtain it, you'll not be getting your visa.

    In addition, I would contact the attorney you already retained to represent you and whom you pay, and ask for his advice.

    I don't see any way around this, frankly. Your main problem may indeed be the time constraint.

    Source(s): An immigrant from Europe, I live in the charming old mission town San Buenaventura and work as an attorney in Santa Barbara, California.
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  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    those are the rules they cannot change them ... your lawyer should be on top of the situation

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