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)

IR-3 Visas: The U.S. embassy or consulate will generally issue an IR-3 immigrant visa after Form I-600 approval if:

  1. At least one of the adoptive parents personally saw and observed the orphan before or during the adoption proceedings abroad*, and
  2. You (and your spouse if married) obtained a final adoption abroad.  This means that the adoption is recognized as final both in the child’s country of origin and in the United States. 

* Note:  The “adoption proceedings” do not include the visa interview and issuance.

IH-3 Visas: The U.S. embassy or consulate will generally issue an IH-3 immigrant visa after final Form I-800 approval if you (and your spouse if married) complete the final adoption abroad before the child enters the United States.

Note: If you adopted your child abroad you may need to take additional steps to obtain state recognition of the adoption order to be eligible for certain state benefits. This may include registering or readopting your child before he/she turns 18, depending on the laws of the particular state where you reside. 

Generally, if your adopted child is admitted to the United States with an IR-3 or IH-3 immigrant visa, is residing in the United States in the U.S. citizen parent’s legal and physical custody before the child’s 18th birthday, and otherwise fulfils the conditions of the Child Citizenship Act (CCA), your child will automatically become a U.S. citizen. If eligible, the child should automatically receive a Certificate of Citizenship in the mail.  See U.S. Citizenship for an Adopted Child for more information.

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

IR-4 Visas: The U.S. embassy or consulate will generally issue an IR-4 after Form I-600 approval if:

  1. Neither parent has seen and observed the child before or during the adoption proceedings*, or
  2. You will complete the final adoption in the United States, or
  3. Only one parent of a married couple adopted the child abroad.

* Note:  The “adoption proceedings” do not include the visa interview and issuance.

IH-4 Visas: The U.S. embassy or consulate will generally issue an IH-4 visa after Form I-800 approval if:

  1. You (and your spouse if married) did not complete a final adoption abroad before the child enters the United States, or 
  2. Only one parent of a married couple adopted the child abroad.

Note: If you adopted your child abroad and the state where you and your adopted child reside does not recognize the foreign adoption, you may need to take additional steps to obtain state recognition of the adoption order. This may include registering or readopting your child before he/she turns 18, depending on the laws of the particular state where you reside. 

Generally, if your child is admitted to the United States with an

IR-4 or IH-4 immigrant visa. is residing in the United States in the U.S. citizen parent’s legal and physical custody before the child’s 18th birthday, and otherwise fulfils the conditions of the Child Citizenship Act (CCA), your child will automatically become a U.S. citizen once the parent(s) complete the adoption in the United States.  When your child is admitted to the United States with an IR-4 or IH-4 visa, your child will be mailed a Permanent Resident Card (Green Card).

When the parent(s) complete the adoption in the United States, you can then apply for a Certificate of Citizenship by filing a Form N-600, Application for Certification of Citizenship with fee, or you can apply for a U.S. passport, if eligible. See U.S. Citizenship for an Adopted Child for more information on how children issued IR-4 and IH-4 visas may acquire and document U.S. citizenship.

IR-2 Visas (approved Form I-130)

The U.S. embassy or consulate will generally issue an IR-2 visa to your child after Form I-130 approval if:

  1. You obtained a final adoption before the child’s 16th birthday (or 18th birthday if an exception applies),
  2. You or your spouse (if married and you jointly adopted the child) have had legal custody of the child for two years, and
  3. You or your spouse (if married and you jointly adopted the child) have jointly resided with the child for two years.

Note:  If you are adopting from a Hague Convention country, certain restrictions apply that may prevent your child from immigrating to the United States using the immediate relative Form I-130 process.

Generally, if your adopted child is admitted to the United States with an IR-2 immigrant visa, is residing in the United States in the U.S. citizen parent’s legal and physical custody before the child’s 18th birthday, and otherwise fulfils the conditions of the Child Citizenship Act (CCA), your child will automatically become a U.S. citizen. When your child is admitted to the United States with an IR-2 visa, your child will be mailed a Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) and can then apply for a Certificate of Citizenship by filing a Form N-600, Application for Certification of Citizenship with fee or apply for a U.S. passport, if eligible.  See U.S. Citizenship for an Adopted Child for more information on how children issued IR-2 visas may acquire or document U.S. citizenship.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

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