Green Card for My Adopted Child

Adopting a child is a complex process in many countries and can be more daunting if the intending new parents are overseas. If you are a US citizen planning to adopt a child from a foreign country, you must also factor in the process of bringing the child over to the US after completing the adoption process in their home country. This article provides you with the detailed information you need to navigate the process of obtaining a Green Card for adopted child.

Firstly, it’s important to understand the category of visa applicable to children adopted in the U.S. by non-U.S. citizens. Known as the IR4 visa, this is the essential immigration document that your adopted child needs to acquire for permanent resident status, better known as a Green Card.

What is an IR4 visa?

An IR4 visa is a type of immigrant visa granted by the U.S. to a foreign child adopted by a U.S. citizen. This type of visa allows the adopted child to enter the U.S. and grants them lawful permanent resident status upon entry. It’s important to note that the child is not automatically granted U.S. citizenship, but it becomes a possibility once they’ve lived in the country with a Green Card for a specific period.

Eligibility Criteria for the IR4 Visa

To be eligible for an IR4 visa:

1. The child must be under the age of 16 when the adoption process begins.
2. The adopting parents must be U.S. citizens.
3. The adoption must be full and final.
4. The adopted child must reside with the adoptive parents in the U.S. after the adoption.
5. If the parents are married, at least one parent must have seen the child before the adoption.

The Adoption Process

When adopting a child, you must follow the adoption laws of both the U.S. and the child’s home country. Once the adoption is finalized, you can initiate the process to obtain the IR4 visa for the child.

The IR4 Visa Application Process

To begin the IR4 visa application process, the adopting parent must file Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative, with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

The application must be supported by relevant documents, including:

1. The adopted child’s birth certificate.
2. A copy of the final adoption decree.
3. Proof of the adopting parents’ U.S. citizenship.
4. Evidence that at least one parent has physically seen the child before the adoption (if the parents are married).
5. A home study report.
6. Evidence of the child’s medical examination by an authorized doctor.

The USCIS reviews the application and, if approved, issues a Notice of Action, also known as Form I-797C. Following this, the National Visa Center assigns a case number and instructs the applicant on the next steps.

Next, you must fill Form DS-260, Immigrant Visa Electronic Application, online. Once submitted, you should print the confirmation page to present at the child’s visa interview.

Finally, the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the child’s home country will schedule an interview. If the child is granted the IR4 visa, they can travel to the U.S., where they will receive their Green Card.

Fees Associated with the IR4 Visa

The IR4 visa process involves several fees:

1. Filing Form I-800 costs $775.
2. The fee for processing Form DS-260 is $325.
3. There’s also a $120 fee for an Affidavit of Support Review (if applicable).
4. The medical examination and vaccination costs will vary.

Timeline for the IR4 Visa

The timeline for obtaining an IR4 visa can vary greatly, depending on factors such as the child’s home country and the speed of USCIS processing. Generally, you can expect the process to take between 12 and 18 months from the initial application to the arrival of the Green Card.

Navigating the process of obtaining a Green Card for an adopted child can be complex, but with the right guidance and understanding, it’s entirely achievable. This process is not just a legal requirement; it’s a step toward securing a brighter future for your child. While the path might seem daunting, remember that each form filled, and every step taken brings you one step closer to creating a loving and secure home for your child.

This article has provided an overview of the process, but remember that each case is unique, and you might face additional requirements or challenges. You should consult with an immigration attorney or expert to help guide you through this process and ensure you are complying with all necessary regulations. Good luck on your adoption journey!

Note: This content provides general information and does not replace legal advice. Always consult with a legal professional before making decisions about immigration procedures.

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