IR-3 Visa:A Guide to Immigrating to the US with an Adopted Child

Overview of IR-3 Visa

If you are looking to adopt a child from a foreign country and bring them to the United States to live with you permanently, you may be eligible for an IR-3 Visa. This type of visa is an immigrant visa that allows you to adopt a child and bring them to the United States as a legal permanent resident (LPR).

The IR-3 Visa is specifically for children who have been adopted by United States citizens and have completed the adoption process in their country of origin. This means that the child’s adoption must be finalized before they can receive an IR-3 Visa.

To be eligible for an IR-3 Visa, you must meet certain requirements. You must be a United States citizen and have completed the adoption process in the child’s country of origin. You must also provide proof that the child has been adopted in accordance with the laws of their country of origin and that the adoption is legally binding.

Once you have met these requirements, you can begin the process of applying for an IR-3 Visa. This process includes filing a petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and completing an immigrant visa application.

It is important to note that the process of obtaining an IR-3 Visa can be lengthy and complex. You may need to provide a significant amount of documentation to support your application, and there may be additional requirements depending on the country from which you are adopting the child.

Overall, the IR-3 Visa is an important tool for United States citizens who wish to adopt a child from a foreign country and bring them to the United States to live with them permanently. If you are considering adoption, it is important to consult with an experienced immigration attorney to ensure that you understand the requirements and process for obtaining an IR-3 Visa.

Eligibility and Requirements

To be eligible for an IR-3 Visa, both the adoptive parent(s) and the adopted child must meet certain requirements. The child must be under the age of 16 at the time of the final adoption and must have been in the legal and physical custody of the adoptive parent(s) for at least two years. The adoptive parent(s) must also have had legal custody of the child for at least two years and must have met all of the requirements of the Hague Convention, if applicable.

If the adoption took place in a Hague Convention country, the adoptive parent(s) must have obtained a Hague Adoption Certificate or an equivalent document from the appropriate authorities. If the adoption took place in a non-Hague Convention country, the adoptive parent(s) must have obtained a final adoption decree or an equivalent document from the appropriate authorities.

In addition to these requirements, the adoptive parent(s) must also be U.S. citizens and must have filed a Form I-600 or Form I-800 petition with USCIS to classify the child as an immediate relative. The adoptive parent(s) must also have obtained an IR-3 Visa for the child from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the foreign country where the adoption took place.

Once the child enters the United States on an IR-3 Visa, he or she will automatically receive U.S. citizenship. The adoptive parent(s) must then obtain a Certificate of Citizenship for the child from USCIS.

It is important to note that the IR-3 Visa is only available for children who are adopted in a foreign country and who meet the eligibility criteria. If the child is adopted in the United States, the adoptive parent(s) must file a Form I-130 to classify the child as an immediate relative and must obtain an IR-2 Visa for the child.

Overall, the eligibility and requirements for an IR-3 Visa are strict and must be met in order for the child to receive U.S. citizenship. It is recommended that adoptive parent(s) consult with an adoption service provider and an immigration attorney to ensure that all requirements are met and that the adoption proceedings are completed properly.

Application Process

To apply for an IR-3 visa, you must first file a petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The petition must be filed by the adoptive parent(s) and must be accompanied by evidence of the adoption or custody of the child. The USCIS will review the petition and, if approved, will forward it to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing.

Once the NVC receives the approved petition, it will send the adoptive parent(s) instructions on how to complete the Form DS-260, Online Immigrant Visa Application. The Form DS-260 must be completed for each child who will be immigrating to the United States.

After the Form DS-260 is submitted, the adoptive parent(s) will be scheduled for an interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where the child resides. At the interview, the adoptive parent(s) must provide all required documentation, including the child’s birth certificate, passport, and medical examination results.

If the visa is approved, the adoptive parent(s) will receive a sealed packet with the child’s visa and other important documents. The adoptive parent(s) should not open the packet. Instead, they should give it to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer at the port of entry.

It is important to note that the application process for an IR-3 visa may vary depending on the circumstances of the adoption and the country where the child resides. For example, if the adoption was completed under the Hague Adoption Convention, the adoptive parent(s) may need to file a Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative (Form I-800) instead of a Form I-600.

Overall, the application process for an IR-3 visa can be complex and time-consuming. It is important to carefully follow all instructions and provide all required documentation to avoid delays or denials.

After Approval

Congratulations, your IR-3 visa has been approved, and your child is now a lawful permanent resident of the United States. But what happens next?

First, you will need to apply for your child’s Green Card. The Green Card is proof of your child’s permanent resident status, and they will need it for many purposes, including traveling outside the United States, getting a job, and enrolling in school. You can apply for the Green Card by filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Once your child has their Green Card, they can apply for a U.S. Passport. A U.S. Passport is a travel document that allows your child to travel internationally as a U.S. citizen. Your child can apply for a U.S. Passport at any U.S. Passport Acceptance Facility. In most cases, your child will need to submit their Green Card, birth certificate, and a passport photo with their application.

If your child is under 18 years old, they may also be eligible for a Certificate of Citizenship. A Certificate of Citizenship is proof of your child’s U.S. citizenship, and they will need it for many purposes, including applying for federal student aid and voting. You can apply for a Certificate of Citizenship by filing Form N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship, with USCIS.

Finally, if your child is over 18 years old and wants to work in the United States, they may need to apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). An EAD is a document that allows your child to work legally in the United States. Your child can apply for an EAD by filing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, with USCIS.

Remember, as a permanent resident, your child has many rights and responsibilities in the United States. Make sure they understand these rights and responsibilities, and encourage them to become active members of their community.

Adoption under Hague Convention

If you are planning to adopt a child from a Hague Convention country, you need to follow the guidelines set by the Hague Adoption Convention. The Hague Convention is an international agreement that establishes standards for intercountry adoptions. It aims to protect the best interests of children, prevent abduction, sale, or trafficking of children, and ensure that adoptions are made in a transparent and ethical manner.

To adopt a child from a Hague Convention country, you need to work with an Adoption Service Provider (ASP) that is accredited by the U.S. Department of State. The ASP will help you with the adoption process, including obtaining an Article 5/17 Letter, which is a letter from the U.S. government stating that the adoption is in compliance with the Hague Convention.

Before you can adopt a child from a Hague Convention country, you need to complete a Home Study, which is an evaluation of your suitability as an adoptive parent. You also need to submit a Form I-800A, which is an application to determine your eligibility to adopt a child from a Hague Convention country.

Once you have completed the Home Study and obtained an Article 5/17 Letter, you can proceed with the adoption process in the child’s country of origin. If the adoption is successful, the child will be issued an IR-3 visa, which allows the child to enter the United States as an immediate relative of the adoptive parent. The IR-3 visa also automatically grants the child U.S. citizenship upon entry.

It is important to note that the Hague Convention sets strict guidelines for intercountry adoptions, and failure to comply with these guidelines can result in the denial of the IR-3 visa or the revocation of the adoption. Therefore, it is crucial to work with an accredited ASP and follow the Hague Convention guidelines to ensure a successful adoption process.

Adoption under Non-Hague Convention

If you are looking to adopt a child from a non-Hague Convention country, the process can be more complicated. One of the key differences is that the adoption will be processed under the Orphan Petition program, which is overseen by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

To initiate the process, you will need to file Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative. This form is used to establish that the child you wish to adopt meets the definition of an orphan under U.S. immigration law. Once the form is approved, you can begin the adoption proceedings in the child’s country of origin.

During the adoption proceedings, you will need to provide evidence to the USCIS that you have obtained full parental rights and responsibilities for the child. This can be done through a final adoption decree or other legal documentation. Once you have obtained these rights, the USCIS will approve your Orphan Petition and issue an IR-3 Visa to the child.

It is important to note that the adoption proceedings in a non-Hague Convention country may be different from those in a Hague Convention country. For example, there may be different requirements for home studies, background checks, and other pre-adoption requirements. It is important to work closely with an experienced adoption agency or attorney to ensure that you are following all of the necessary steps.

Additionally, it is important to be aware that the USCIS may require additional documentation or evidence during the visa processing stage. This can include proof of your financial stability, medical exams for the child, and other documentation. It is important to be prepared for these requirements and to work closely with your adoption agency or attorney to ensure that all necessary documentation is provided.

Overall, adopting a child from a non-Hague Convention country can be a complex process, but with the right support and guidance, it is possible to bring a child into your family through international adoption.

Rights and Responsibilities of IR-3 Visa Holders

As an IR-3 visa holder, you have certain rights and responsibilities. It is important to understand these to make the most of your stay in the United States.

Rights

Work

As an IR-3 visa holder, you have the right to work in the United States. However, you will need to apply for a Social Security number to do so. Once you have a Social Security number, you can apply for jobs and work legally in the United States.

Residency

You have the right to reside in the United States with your adoptive parents. Your adoptive parents will need to file a petition to adjust your status to that of a lawful permanent resident within two years of your arrival in the United States.

Higher Education Studies

You have the right to enroll in school in the United States. However, you will need to apply for a student visa if you want to attend school after you turn 21.

U.S. Citizenship

As an IR-3 visa holder, you automatically become a U.S. citizen upon your arrival in the United States. You do not need to apply for citizenship or take any tests.

Responsibilities

Permanent Resident

You are responsible for maintaining your status as a permanent resident. This means that you must not commit any crimes that could lead to deportation. You must also renew your green card every ten years.

Naturalization

While you do not need to apply for citizenship, you may choose to do so when you turn 18. If you do choose to apply for citizenship, you will need to meet certain requirements, such as passing a citizenship test.

In conclusion, as an IR-3 visa holder, you have certain rights and responsibilities. Make sure to understand these to make the most of your stay in the United States.

Comparison with Other Immigrant Visas

If you are considering adopting a child from another country, you will need to apply for an immigrant visa to bring your child to the United States. There are several types of immigrant visas available, each with its own requirements and limitations. The IR-3 visa is one of several types of visas available for children who are being adopted from abroad.

Compared to other immigrant visas, the IR-3 visa is unique in that it allows the child to automatically become a U.S. citizen upon entry into the United States. This means that the child does not need to go through the naturalization process to become a citizen. This is different from other visas, such as the IR-2 visa, which requires the child to be a permanent resident for a certain period of time before becoming eligible for citizenship.

Another difference between the IR-3 visa and other visas is the age of the child at the time of adoption. The IR-3 visa is only available for children who are under the age of 16 at the time of adoption. If the child is over the age of 16, they may be eligible for other types of visas, such as the IR-4 visa.

The IH-3 and IH-4 immigrant visas are also available for children who are being adopted from abroad. The IH-3 visa is similar to the IR-3 visa in that it allows the child to automatically become a U.S. citizen upon entry into the United States. However, the IH-3 visa is only available for children who are being adopted from countries that are party to the Hague Adoption Convention.

The IH-4 visa is available for children who are being adopted from countries that are not party to the Hague Adoption Convention. This visa requires the child to go through the naturalization process to become a U.S. citizen.

Overall, the IR-3 visa is a unique option for families who are adopting a child from abroad. It allows the child to become a U.S. citizen upon entry into the United States, without the need for additional paperwork or waiting periods. However, it is important to note that the IR-3 visa is only available for children who are under the age of 16 at the time of adoption.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the IR-3 category?

The IR-3 visa category is for children who are adopted abroad by U.S. citizens and who have been in the legal custody of their adoptive parents for at least two years. This visa allows the child to enter the United States as an immigrant and become a permanent resident.

How does the IR-3 visa differ from the IR-4 visa?

The IR-4 visa is for children who are adopted abroad by U.S. citizens but who have not yet been in the legal custody of their adoptive parents for at least two years. The child enters the United States on an IR-4 visa as a temporary resident. Once the child has been in the legal custody of the adoptive parents for at least two years, the adoptive parents can apply for the child’s permanent residency through an IR-3 visa.

What is the processing time for an IR-4 visa?

The processing time for an IR-4 visa can vary depending on the circumstances of the adoption and the country of origin of the child. It is important to consult with an immigration attorney or the U.S. Department of State for specific information on processing times.

What is the IR visa category?

The IR visa category is a family-based immigration category that allows U.S. citizens to petition for their foreign-born spouses, parents, and children to become permanent residents of the United States.

Do I become a U.S. citizen once I get the IR-2 visa?

No, the IR-2 visa is for the child of a U.S. citizen who is under the age of 21 and unmarried. The child enters the United States as an immigrant and becomes a permanent resident. The child may be eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship after meeting certain requirements.

What is a K-3 visa?

A K-3 visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows the spouse of a U.S. citizen to enter the United States while the immigrant visa petition is being processed. Once the immigrant visa petition is approved, the spouse can apply for adjustment of status to become a permanent resident.

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