Only One Parent Required to Travel to Adopt
This past January, President Obama authorized the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014, which redefines the term “orphan” to fall under the definition of “child” found in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
Moreover—since signing the new act into law—for adoptions that don’t fall under the purview of the Hague Adoption Convention, it isn’t necessary for both parents to travel before or during the adoption if an adopted child is going to enter the US on an IR-3 visa, which according to INA, allows for automatic US citizenship upon entrance.
Before the new legislation, in order for an adopted child to receive an IR-3 visa, both parents would have to travel to meet the child during the adoption. If only one parent travelled, then the child would enter on an IR-4 visa, and the other parent would need to re-adopt the child in the US for him/her to gain US citizenship. This process became costly and caused delays in the child securing all the benefits of US citizenship.
USCIS is currently revising the orphan adoption forms, Forms I-600A and I-600. The new versions will likely include the new definition of “orphan”.
See you in my next blog.
Nalini S Mahadevan, JD, MBA
Immigration Attorney St. Louis, Missouri
The information is not meant to create a client-attorney relationship. This blog is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Situations may differ based on the facts.
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