IR-3 Visa Lawyers - Pennsylvania
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IR-3 Visa Attorneys in Pennsylvania Helping Clients Navigate International Adoption

Immigration laws in the United States are complex, and there are several types of visas that may be appropriate, depending on your situation. The IR visas, which stands for immediate relative, are visas that allow U.S. citizens to sponsor immediate relatives to come to the United States on a Green Card — also known as lawful permanent resident status. The IR-3 visa is an option for those who have adopted a child in another country and are trying to bring them into the United States.

Going through the international adoption process is challenging. It can take months or even years to be matched with a child and fulfill the other country’s adoption requirements. But there’s still the final hurdle of ensuring the child is legally admissible to the United States. Get help with an IR-3 visa and find out what you need to know about this process when you work with The Law Office of Rosina C. Stambaugh.

What Is an IR-3 Visa?

An IR-3 visa is a type of immediate relative visa and is reserved for children who have been adopted internationally. The adoptive parents go through the adoption process in a foreign country and then have to bring the child back to the United States to live with them. But this requires that the child have valid legal status in America. Once an IR-3 visa has been granted, the child is able to gain entrance to the United States and go about regular life, including going to school, going on to college, and working as long as they have a work permit.

Who Is Eligible for an IR-3 Visa?

There are specific requirements for IR-3 visas for both the child and the adoptive parents. The child must be less than 21 years old and be from either a Hague Convention country or a Non-Hague Convention country. They must also be eligible for adoption under the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act.

The adoptive parents must be U.S. citizens and have a valid U.S. address. They must also be planning to bring the child to America to live with them. In some cases, the parents must go through an eligibility test, which is administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. It’s generally recommended that the IR-3 visa be used in cases where the child has been recently adopted. If there were circumstances that required the parents to stay in another country with the child for two years or more, an IR-2 visa may be more appropriate.

How Do You Apply for an IR-3 Visa?

How to apply for an IR-3 visa depends on whether the child was adopted from a Hague Convention country or a Non-Hague Convention country. For a Hague Convention country, you will need to work with an adoption organization that is accredited and approved by the United States. The next step is to file the Determination on Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country (Form I-800A) with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office. Completing this process includes a home study and a background check that includes fingerprinting.

After you have been approved and have been matched with a child, you need to submit the Online Immigrant Visa Application for the child. This is submitted to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the child’s country of origin. Once this has been approved, you will be able to get a final adoption order and then file the appropriate paperwork. The final step is to go through an in-person interview at the U.S. Embassy.

Adopting from a Non-Hague Convention country requires a similar process, but the forms and information needed are different. It’s best to consult with an attorney about what this process looks like before applying for an IR-3 visa.

Can My Child Become a U.S. Citizen With an IR-3 Visa?

A child who has been granted an IR-3 visa automatically becomes a U.S. citizen as long as they meet certain criteria. This includes coming to the United States and being in the adoptive parents’ custody before the child turns 18 and fulfills all of the requirements laid out in the Child Citizenship Act. In most cases, you won’t have to do anything special, and your child should receive a Certificate of Citizenship by mail.

How Long Does It Take to Process an IR-3 Visa?

How long it takes to process an IR-3 visa varies by situation, but in general, you can expect it to take at least 6 months to 1 year from application to being able to bring the child to the United States. Keep in mind that this is just the timeframe for the IR-3 visa and does not take into consideration how long it may take to fulfill any adoption requirements in the child’s country of origin. Working with an attorney who is experienced in immigration and international adoptions can help you ensure that you have everything filled out and filed correctly, which can help expedite things.

Adoption can help you complete your family, but it’s important to ensure that all of the visa requirements are met when you’re adopting in another country and bringing the child to the United States. Whether you are in the beginning stages of international adoption and have questions about what to expect or are currently trying to apply for an IR-3 visa, The Law Office of Rosina C. Stambaugh can help. Call our office at 717-900-1818 to get connected with a member of our team who can answer your questions and schedule an appointment with an immigration attorney.

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