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Your New Child's Immigrant Visa

Immigrant Visas Adopted Children May Receive

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IR-3/IH-3 Visas (approved Form I-600 or Form I-800)

  • The U.S. Embassy or consulate will issue an IR-3/IH-3 visa to your child if he or she is an orphan adopted abroad and the adoption does not need to be finalized in the United States.  With non-Hague adoptions (IR-3) you (if you are unmarried) or both you and your spouse (if you are married) must have seen the child, before or during the adoption proceeding.
  • A child who has an IR-3/IH-3 visa may be mailed a Certificate of Citizenship after admission into the United States.
  • However, if the child lives overseas rather than in the United States—such as with parents posted overseas with a religious mission—then your child will be mailed a permanent resident card known as a green card.
  • A decision is made based on the facts of a case whether the adopted child is eligible for Certificate of Citizenship issuance.

IR-4/IH-4 Visas(approved Form I-600 or Form I-800)

  • The U.S. Embassy or consulate will issue an IR-4/IH-4 visa to your child  if he or she is an orphan coming to the United States to be adopted by you, or (if you already adopted your child overseas in an (IR-3) non-Hague adoptions) you and/or your spouse (if you are married) did not see your child before or during the adoption proceeding.
  • A child who has an IR-4/IH-4 visa will receive a permanent resident card known as a green card in the mail after admission to the United States. These children are not automatically issued a certificate of United States citizenship

IR-2 Visas (approved Form I-130)

  • The U.S. Embassy or consulate will issue an IR-2 visa to your child if you have a full, final adoption, and he or she has been under your legal custodianship and living with you for a minimum of two years

If you are adopting from a Hague Convention country, certain restrictions apply that may prevent your child from immigrating to the United States using this process. Please fully research the adoption laws of the country you hope to adopt from before beginning the process.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 05/17/2011