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IR-3 or IR-4 Visa?

Your child’s passport will have a stamp placed there by U.S. Immigration. It will indicate either IR- 3 or IR-4 for non-Convention countries (for example, Ethiopia or Ukraine). In the case of a Convention adoption (for example, India and China), the child’s passport will be stamped with an IH-3 or IH-4 visa.

IR-3/IH-3 visas are issued to children whose prospective adoptive parents both saw the child prior to the completion of the adoption overseas. Otherwise, the child will receive an IR-4/IH-4 visa. Parents of children with IR-3/IH-3 visas will receive their child’s Certificate of Citizenship automatically from CIS within 50 days of the child’s arrival in the U.S.

Some children from India will receive an IH-4 visa. Parents with children with IH-4 visas will either have to finalize their child’s adoption in a local court (i.e. for India cases), or re-adopt their child in a local court (i.e. for non-Indian children). For more information on your child(ren)’s visa, see the After Your Child Enters the US page on the U.S. Immigration web site.

For Hague Convention cases, the designation changes to IH-3 and IH-4, but otherwise carry the same finalization and readoption issues as do the IR-3 and IR-4 visas.

Children from India

Many children from India will receive from the U.S. an HR-4 visa stamp in their Indian passport. Their prospective adoptive parents are assigned guardianship by the courts in India. They must complete the post-placement requirements by their state of residence and finalize the adoption of their child in a local court. This often requires the services of an attorney. Once the adoption has been finalized, the parents can obtain proof of their child’s citizenship by filing the N-600 form with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Thereafter, they can apply for the child’s Social Security card and a U.S. passport.

NOTE: During 2012 the U.S. Consulate in New Delhi started issuing an IH-3 visas for many (but not all) adoptive children along with a Hague Certificate of Adoption. As a result, families do not have to finalize their adoption in the U.S.


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