After Your Child Enters the United States

All IR-3/IH-3, IR-4/IH-4 and IR-2 children are admitted as permanent resident noncitizens.

Depending on your child’s visa classification, USCIS will mail to your child either a permanent resident card, known as a green card, or a Certificate of Citizenship.

A child who immigrates to the United States as the adopted child of a U.S. citizen automatically becomes a U.S. citizen if the adoption is full and final before the child’s 18th birthday, if the child is "lawfully admitted" as a permanent resident before his or her 18th birthday, and if he or she "is residing" in the United States in the citizen parent’s legal and physical custody.

Your child has not established residency and is therefore not a United States Citizen
  • Your child must actually be residing in the United States after entering with an immigrant visa in order to be a United States Citizen and to receive a Certificate of Citizenship.
  • A visit to the United States before returning overseas does not count as residence.
  • Intent to permanently reside in the United States is not enough to establish residence in the United States either during or between visits.
  • If your child does not actually reside in the United States, then USCIS will mail him or her a permanent resident card, known as a green card, rather than a Certificate of Citizenship.
  • Your child must actually reside with a petitioning parent in the United States.
  • If your child resides in the United States, but the original adoption was disrupted (before the child got citizenship), you generally must, as the new adoptive U.S. citizen parent(s), have two years legal custody of your child and have also physically resided with your child for two years before you may file Form N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship, with fee.

My Child's Certificate of Citizenship is Lost/Destroyed

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