Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘US Birth Certificate’

6th May 2010

Few people realize that Puerto Rico is, for immigration purposes, part of the United States of America. This legal posture is enshrined in the United States Immigration and Nationality Act. In a recent posting on the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration Website it was announced that the Puerto Rican authorities will be making sweeping changes to the rules effecting the issuance of birth certificates:

The government of Puerto Rico has enacted a new law (Law 191 of 2009) aimed at strengthening the issuance and usage of birth certificates to combat fraud and protect the identity and credit of all people born in Puerto Rico.

The new law was based on collaboration with the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to address the fraudulent use of Puerto Rico-issued birth certificates to unlawfully obtain U.S. passports, Social Security benefits, and other federal services.

Under the new law, all Puerto Rico birth certificates issued before July 1, 2010, will be invalidated so that new, more secure certificates can be issued. Until that date, all birth certificates will remain valid.

It is important to understand that there is no need to rush out and get a new birth certificate on July 1.  It is suggested that only people who have a specific need for their birth certificate for official purposes need request a new birth certificate right away.

As many may be aware, birth certificates are an integral component of many visa petition packages. This is particularly true for K1 visa petitions, K3 Visa petitions, IR1 and CR1 visa petitions. How these proposed chages will impact immigration to the United States from abroad, and from Puerto Rico, remains to be seen, but it is clear that government officials are taking the issue of fraud prevention seriously.

Birth certificates are such an important piece of documentation that some believe that it is clearly self evident that maintaining the integrity of such documents is vitally important in maintaining security in the United States of America. In the 50 United States, there have been innumerable programs that are intended to make it more difficult for individuals to obtain fraudulent documentation. It would appear that this overall policy is being extended to US territorial possessions in order to provide increased document security in the outlying jurisdictions of the United States of America.

For more information about births overseas and obtaining birth registration documentation from abroad please see: Consular Report of Birth Abroad. For information about registering Thai births overseas please see: Thai Consular Report of Birth Abroad.

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