Ask AF: Adoption Visa Clarification

How do you know if you need to apply for citizenship for your child, or if the adoption visa is enough? The AF legal expert explains.

Q: We finalized our daughter’s international adoption a few years ago, but haven’t gone through the naturalization process yet. Do we have to? What forms do we need to complete?

A: First, examine the stamp that was placed in her passport when she entered the United States. If she entered the U.S. on an IR-3 visa, she automatically became a U.S. citizen upon entering the country. If you did not receive a U.S. certificate of citizenship within 45 days of returning home with her, request one using USCIS Form N-600. (Download the form at uscis.gov.)

If your child was issued an IR-4 visa, you will need to adopt her again in your state of residence. Once the “re-adoption” occurs, you can request a certificate of citizenship using Form N-600. It’s in your child’s and your best interests to complete the re-adoption. The fact that several years have passed since you adopted her shouldn’t pose a problem, but I urge you to begin the process sooner rather than later.




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