IR-4 Visa: Everything You Need to Know

Understanding IR-4 Visa

If you are considering adopting an orphan from a foreign country, you may need to apply for an IR-4 visa. This visa is specifically designed for foreign orphans who are being adopted by U.S. citizens. In this section, we will explain what an IR-4 visa is, who is eligible to apply, and how to apply for one.

What is an IR-4 Visa?

An IR-4 visa is an immigrant visa that is issued to foreign orphans who are being adopted by U.S. citizens. This visa is specifically designed for children who have not yet been adopted by an American citizen and are coming to the United States to complete the adoption process. Once the adoption is complete, the child can become a U.S. citizen.

Who is Eligible to Apply for an IR-4 Visa?

To be eligible for an IR-4 visa, the child must be an orphan under the age of 16 at the time of the adoption. The child must also be coming to the United States to be adopted by a U.S. citizen. The U.S. citizen must have already filed an I-600 petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to adopt the child.

How to Apply for an IR-4 Visa

To apply for an IR-4 visa, the U.S. citizen must first file an I-600 petition with the USCIS to adopt the child. Once the petition is approved, the USCIS will forward the case to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where the child is located. The Embassy or Consulate will then schedule an appointment for the child to undergo a medical examination and an interview.

During the interview, the Embassy or Consulate will determine if the child is eligible for an IR-4 visa. If the child is found to be eligible, the Embassy or Consulate will issue an IR-4 visa. The U.S. citizen can then travel to the foreign country to complete the adoption process and bring the child back to the United States.

The Hague Convention and IR-4 Visas

It is important to note that if the foreign country where the child is located is a party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, the adoption process may be different. In these cases, the U.S. citizen may need to file an I-800A petition with the USCIS instead of an I-600 petition. The USCIS will then forward the case to the appropriate U.S. agency for processing.

Immediate Relative Visas and IR-4 Visas

It is important to note that an IR-4 visa is different from an immediate relative visa. An immediate relative visa is issued to a foreign national who is the spouse, parent, or child of a U.S. citizen. An IR-4 visa is specifically designed for foreign orphans who are being adopted by U.S. citizens.

Eligibility and Requirements

To be eligible for an IR-4 Visa, both the child and the adoptive parent(s) must meet certain criteria. This section will outline the eligibility and requirements for both the child and the parent.

Child’s Eligibility

To qualify for an IR-4 Visa, the child must be under the age of 16 at the time of the adoption and must meet the definition of an orphan according to U.S. immigration law. This means that the child must have no parents or must have only one surviving parent who is unable to care for them. In addition, the child must be eligible for adoption under the laws of their country of origin and must have a valid and approved orphan petition filed on their behalf.

Parent’s Eligibility

To be eligible to adopt a child with an IR-4 Visa, the adoptive parent(s) must be U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents who are at least 25 years old. If the adoptive parent is married, their spouse must also be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident. Unmarried U.S. citizens may also adopt a child with an IR-4 Visa.

In addition to meeting the citizenship and age requirements, adoptive parents must also meet certain eligibility criteria. This includes passing a home study conducted by a licensed adoption agency or social worker, meeting the income requirements to support the child, and passing criminal background checks.

Once the child and adoptive parent(s) meet the eligibility requirements, the adoption process can begin. The child will receive an IR-4 Visa, which allows them to enter the United States for the purpose of being adopted. After the adoption is finalized, the child can apply for U.S. citizenship.

Overall, the eligibility and requirements for an IR-4 Visa adoption can be complex and require careful consideration. It is important to work with an experienced adoption agency or attorney to ensure that all requirements are met and the adoption process is completed successfully.

Adoption Process

When adopting a child from a foreign country, it is important to understand the adoption process. The process varies depending on whether the country is a Hague Convention country or a non-Hague Convention country.

Hague Convention Adoptions

If the country is a Hague Convention country, the adoption process must follow the guidelines set forth in The Hague Adoption Convention. The Hague Adoption Convention is an international agreement that establishes safeguards to ensure that intercountry adoptions are in the best interests of the child. The process involves several steps, including a home study, background check, fingerprint check, and USCIS approval. The biological parents must also give their consent for the adoption to take place. Once these steps are completed, the child can enter the United States on an IR-3 visa, which means that the child is automatically a U.S. citizen upon entry.

Non-Hague Convention Adoptions

If the country is a non-Hague Convention country, the adoption process is different. The process may involve custody or guardianship proceedings before the final adoption can take place. It is important to note that the adoption may not be recognized in the United States if it does not meet certain requirements. The child may enter the United States on an IR-4 visa, which means that the child is not automatically a U.S. citizen upon entry. The adoptive parents must complete the adoption proceedings in the United States in order for the child to become a U.S. citizen.

In summary, the adoption process for intercountry adoptions varies depending on whether the country is a Hague Convention country or a non-Hague Convention country. It is important to understand the requirements and guidelines set forth by The Hague Adoption Convention and to follow the appropriate procedures for the country in question.

Application and Approval Process

To apply for an IR-4 visa, there are several steps that you must follow. In this section, we will outline the process for filing a petition and obtaining approval for an IR-4 visa.

Filing the Petition

The first step in the application process is to file a petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). There are two types of petitions that can be filed depending on the circumstances: Form I-600 or Form I-800.

Form I-600 is used for non-Convention countries or cases where the Convention does not apply. Form I-800 is used for Convention countries. In both cases, the petition must be filed by the prospective adoptive parent(s) and must include supporting documentation such as home study reports, medical examinations, and criminal background checks.

Once the petition is approved, USCIS will forward it to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing.

Interview and Approval

After the petition is approved, the next step is to complete the online immigrant visa application (Form DS-260) and submit it to the NVC. The NVC will then schedule an interview with the prospective adoptive parent(s) and the child at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the child’s home country.

Before the interview, the adoptive parent(s) must obtain an Article 5/17 letter from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate, which confirms that the child is eligible for adoption and that the adoption is in compliance with the laws of the child’s home country.

During the interview, the consular officer will review the case and determine if the child is eligible for an IR-4 visa. If approved, the adoptive parent(s) will be required to pay the necessary fees and complete additional forms such as Form I-604 (Adoption of Orphan Investigation).

Once all the forms and fees are submitted, the NVC will issue the IR-4 visa and the child will be able to enter the United States as a lawful permanent resident.

It is important to note that the application and approval process can vary depending on the circumstances of the adoption. For example, if the prospective adoptive parent(s) already have legal custody of the child, they may be able to file a Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative (Form I-600A) instead of Form I-600.

Additionally, there may be additional fees and requirements depending on the country of origin and the specific circumstances of the adoption. It is recommended to consult with an experienced immigration attorney to ensure that all requirements are met and the application process goes smoothly.

Post-Approval Procedures

After obtaining your IR-4 visa and entering the United States, there are several post-approval procedures that you’ll need to follow. These include obtaining citizenship and employment authorization.

Obtaining Citizenship

If you have legal and physical custody of your child, you may apply for a Certificate of Citizenship for your child once they have been in the United States for at least two years. Alternatively, you may apply for naturalization for your child once they have resided in the United States for at least five years.

To apply for a Certificate of Citizenship, you’ll need to file Form N-600 with the U.S. Department of State. To apply for naturalization, you’ll need to file Form N-400 with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Employment Authorization

If you plan to work in the United States, you’ll need to obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). To apply for an EAD, you’ll need to file Form I-765 with USCIS.

Once you have your EAD, you’ll be able to work in the United States legally. If you have a green card or permanent resident card, you may use that as evidence of your right to work instead of an EAD.

It’s important to note that not all IR-4 visa holders are eligible for an EAD. If you have an IR-4 visa based on an adoption that has not been finalized, you may not be eligible for an EAD until the adoption is finalized.

Overall, the IR-4 visa provides several advantages for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens. With the proper application procedures and post-approval procedures, you’ll be able to work and obtain citizenship in the United States.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the IR-4 visa application process like?

The IR-4 visa application process can be complex and time-consuming. The first step is to file a petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on behalf of the child. Once the petition is approved, the child’s case will be forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC), which will provide instructions on how to proceed with the visa application. The application will require a medical examination, police clearance certificate, and other supporting documents.

What are the eligibility requirements for the IR-4 visa?

To be eligible for an IR-4 visa, the child must be under 18 years of age and must be adopted or coming to the United States to be adopted by a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. The adoption must be in compliance with the Hague Adoption Convention or the laws of the child’s country of origin.

What is the difference between the IR-3 and IR-4 visas?

The main difference between the IR-3 and IR-4 visas is the level of parental rights granted to the adoptive parents. An IR-3 visa is issued to a child who has been adopted overseas and has already acquired full parental rights. An IR-4 visa is issued to a child who is coming to the United States to be adopted but has not yet acquired full parental rights.

How long does it take to process an IR-4 visa?

The processing time for an IR-4 visa can vary depending on a number of factors, including the country of origin, the completeness of the application, and the workload of the embassy or consulate where the application is being processed. Generally, the process can take several months to a year or more.

What is the IH-4 visa category?

The IH-4 visa category is a subcategory of the IR-4 visa that is used for children who are coming to the United States to be adopted by U.S. citizens who are not yet legally married. This category is also used for children who are being adopted by U.S. citizens who are married but have not been married for at least two years.

What is the IR-6 visa category?

The IR-6 visa category is used for children who have been adopted overseas by U.S. citizens and are coming to the United States to reside with their adoptive parents. This category is also used for children who have been adopted by U.S. citizens but have already acquired full parental rights.

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