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Adoption Q&A #9

With an international adoption, is the child automatically a citizen of the United States if adopted by U.S. citizens?

As a result of a federal law passed over three years ago, children adopted by U.S. citizens may automatically be citizens of this country upon adoption.  However, the rule applies only to those children that have entered the United States with an IR-3 visa.  If the child in question has an IR-4 visa, it will be necessary to make application for citizenship using the long form application process which may take more than two years.  When applying for a visa, it is important that the adopting parents receive the proper visa for the child to be adopted.  Normally with an IR-3 visa, it is necessary to have seen the child before the adoption occurs.  In some cases, it is necessary to have seen the child on two separate dates in the foreign country before the adoption occurs.


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