A Visa For Your Adopted Child

Visa applicationEvery parent seeking to adopt a child overseas will need to apply for a U.S. visa for their adopted son or daughter. Visas are granted to applicants under certain stipulations by the United States Department of State at the designated U.S.

Embassies or Consulates in the home country of the child. The visa classification the child receives will dictate the procedure the child must go through when obtaining U.S. Citizenship.

Visa Categories

Required visas for the adopted child under the Hague convention are as follows:

  • IH-3 Visa: are granted to adopted children who have completed and finalized their adoption process within a Hague Convention country.
  • IH-4 Visa: will be provided to children leaving a Hague Convention Country entering the United States.

Visas for Non Hague Adopted Orphans

  • IR-3 Visa: is distributed at the time a thorough adoption has concluded in a foreign country. The parent is required to visit the child before or at the time of the adoption process.
  • IR-4 Visa: is given to a child who is entering the U.S. to live in the country or is legally adopted by a parent who is married, and was not seen by the parent (s) before or while adoption is still pending.

Also Read: Going Through the Adoption Process

Other Visa Categories for Adopted Children

  • IR-2 Visa: is given to a child if he or she is adopted by a U.S. citizen and the child goes to the U.S. before being married or before turning 21 years of age or after the child turns 21 years of age as long as he or she is treated by the Child Status Protection Act (as if the child was still below 21 years of age).

U.S. Citizenship for a Child

Applying for U.S. citizenship for your adopted child has its own stipulations. For parents expressing interest in the Child Citizenship Act please see the Child Citizenship Act Information Fact Sheet.

Adopted children holding IR-3 and IH-3 U.S. visas can directly obtain U.S. Citizenship once:

  • They enter the United States before they are 18 years of age.
  • They have been admitted into the U.S under the age of 18 years.
  • They live in the United States with their adopted parents.

Those children with IR-3 and IH-3 immigration cases will receive the Certificate of U.S. Citizenship to their U.S. address at no cost; no additional forms will be requested.

On the other hand, adopted children with IR-4 and IH-4 U.S. visas:

  • Will become Legal Permanent Residents as they enter the U.S. and then must apply for U.S. Citizenship.
  • Will receive a U.S. green card upon entry into the U.S.
  • Will receive their U.S. citizenship on the date of their adoption in the United States with the condition before the child turns 18 years of age.

Children with IR-2 U.S. Visas who are:

  • Below the age of 18 years will obtain their U.S. citizenship the moment they enter the U.S. if they intend on living with their adoptive parents in the United States (children of adoptive parents who are military or U.S. government employees who live abroad are eligible).
  • Children 18 years or older may become permanent residents and get their U.S. green cards.
  • Recipients of IR-2 Visas who may have not automatically gotten their U.S. citizenship can apply at the time of eligibility.

Learn More About: Navigating the International Adoption Process

Get The Help You Need

Parents who are interested in adopting a child from a foreign country and our concerned about which visa to apply for their new child can consult with an immigration attorney.

Contact The Gambacorta Law Office today for an appointment at 847-443-9303. Our offices are located in Arizona, Illinois.