Other Adoption Related Immigration
Immigration Based on Adoption Other than Hague or Orphan Cases
The Hague and Orphan processes are special processes for children who are adopted by U.S. citizens and meet the specific requirements of those programs. There is, however, a third provision under which an adopted individual is considered the child (or adult son or daughter) of his or her adopting parent(s) for immigration purposes. This third provision is the immediate relative process.
There are differences between the Hague and Orphan processes and the Immediate Relative Process.
Who is an Adopted Child Under the Immediate Relative Process?
Under this process, an adopted child is considered, for immigration purposes, to be the child (or adult son or daughter) of the adopting parent if:
A child is still considered to be an adopted child if they were adopted after his or her 16th birthday but before his or her 18th birthday, and:
Who Can Petition Under this Process for a Relative by Adoption?
U.S. Citizens May File a Petition for an Adopted:
For additional information on filing a petition on behalf of an immediate relative go to the Green Card page.
A Permanent Resident May File a Petition for an Adopted:
What and Where to File
To begin the immigration process for your adopted relative (as described above), file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. For information about where to file and what supporting evidence to submit, see the Instructions for Form I-130.
USCIS Policy for Determining Habitual Residence in the U.S. for Children of Hague Convention Countries
We recently published an interim policy memorandum for USCIS officers to use when determining whether an adoptive child from another Hague Convention Country can be considered to be habitually resident in the United States. The interim policy, effective on December 23, 2013, is available for public comment until January 17, 2014, in Feedback Opportunities section of our website.
Who Is Affected
Prospective adoptive parents filing Forms I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, for children who are:
The interim policy addresses instances when the Central Authority in the child’s country of origin (COO) can’t or won’t take a position on whether the child is still habitually resident in the COO.
Last Reviewed/Updated: 01/04/2014