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U.S. citizens may choose to adopt an orphaned child that is from another country. Once the adoption goes through, the child will have to become a permanent resident of the United States in order to immigrate here and live with his or her new family. In 1993 The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption was created to increase the protection of foreign children who are citizens of other countries and to increase the protection of both the adoptive parent(s) and biological parent(s). Approximately 75 countries have signed into the Convention, thus changing their intercountry adoption process to include more guidelines and requirements that are in the child's best interests.
Now, for intercountry adoptions of orphan children by U.S. citizens, there are four types of visas that the child may be granted in order to immigrate into the United States. The first - IH3 visa and IH4 visa - are for children that are adopted from a country that is part of the Hague Convention. The IH3 visas are for children under the age of 18 who are adopted by U.S. citizens in a Hague Convention country. With an IH3 visa, the child will automatically be granted U.S. citizenship upon arrival into the country. IH4 visas are for children from a Hague Convention country but whose adoption will be completed within the U.S. These children do not automatically gain U.S. citizenship upon arrival into the U.S. with an IH4 visa. Instead, they will get their citizenship once the adoption is complete and final.
For children being adopted by U.S. citizens from non-Hague Convention countries, the two visa types are IR3 visa and IR4 visa. With these adoptions, the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) must first define the child as an orphan, according to their definition. An IR3 visa should be applied for if: the adoption is fully completed abroad; both parents are present and see the child during the adoption abroad; and the country in which the adoption takes place does not require re-adoption in the U.S. Once the child enters the U.S. on an IR3 visa, he or she is granted automatic U.S. citizenship. An IR4 visa, on the other hand, is applied for if one or both parents cannot physically see the child before the adoption process or if the country in which the child resides only allows the adopting parent(s) legal guardianship of the child but the actual full adoption must take place in the United States. In this case, when the child enters the U.S., he or she will be considered a lawful permanent resident and receive a green card. The child must be adopted or re-adopted in the U.S. according to the stateÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s adoption laws so that the child can attain U.S. citizenship.
Whether applying for an IR3, IH3, IR4, or IH4 visa for a foreign adopted child, there are certain guidelines that must be met to ensure the child is eligible for U.S. citizenship. There are also age restrictions, and adoption laws may vary greatly from country to country. With the implementation of the Hague Convention, there are many more detailed protections put in place in order to help prevent children from being adopted for the purposes of child labor, human trafficking, abduction, sale, or exploitation. Because of this, in order for intercountry adoptions of orphan children by U.S. citizens to be successful and for the children to receive an IR3, IH3, IR4, or IH4 visa, the adopting parents must navigate a lengthy and detailed visa process with the U.S. to ensure both their protection and the safety of the child.
Having an immigration lawyer on your side when applying for an IR3, IH3, IR4, or IH4 visa for your newly adopted foreign child can be extremely helpful. Without a lawyer, the process can seem daunting and many challenges can occur, delaying when you can enter the U.S. with your child to live permanently as a family. An experienced attorney can help you determine if the country in which your child is from is part of the Hague Convention or if they are not. They can then best advise you on which visa to apply for and how to do so accurately. An immigration attorney can ease the process for you, ensuring your child receives his or her visa promptly and smoothly.
If you need an immigration lawyer to help you with Intercountry Adoption of Orphan Children by U.S. Citizens Visa laws, call us today. Attorney Search Network can help you find an immigration lawyer near you who can help you obtain an IR3, IH3, IR4, or IH4 visa for your adopted child.
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