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What you need to know about immigration requirements if you’re pursuing an international adoption

| May 31, 2021 | Family Immigration

Many prospective parents seeking to build their families look to the option of international adoptions as a way to do so. However, they often forget to stop and consider the immigration process associated with pursuing this option.

You’ll need to take some steps when adopting a foreign-born child so that they can become a U.S. citizen. You may want to learn what the Immigration and Nationality Act Section 320 says about the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

What are the requirements for a foreign-born adopted child to become a U.S. citizen?

You may be able to submit an application for your foreign-born adopted child to become a U.S. citizen if the following requirements are met:

  • At least one parent is a U.S. citizen, whether by naturalization or birth.
  • Your child is under the age of 18.
  • The petitioning citizen parent resides in the U.S. and retains legal and physical custody of the child.
  • The adoption must be legally recognized.

Your adopted child will generally arrive in the U.S. on a visa such as an IH-4 or IR-4. This visa will provide your foreign-born child with lawful permanent resident (LPR) status while they await their adoption’s finalization. Your child will have a green card until they receive a citizenship certificate.

Why it’s helpful to have an immigration attorney guide you through the process

Many adoptive parents take an agency’s advice when pursuing an adoption of a foreign-born child. There are a lot of moving parts in the international adoption process, though.

It matters what you and your spouse’s citizenship status is and where you reside. Certain circumstances regarding your child’s adoption affect the visa and citizenship process as well. An attorney can guide you through the immigration hoops you’ll need to go through as you seek to secure a visa and citizenship  for your child.