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Differences between IH-3, IR-3, IH-4 and IR-4 visas for children

There are many people in Florida who would love to have a family. However, there are many reasons why they may not be able to have their own biological children and begin the adoption process or choose to adopt instead of having their own children. Many of these families also seek to adopt children internationally as well. Adopting internationally can have some advantages, but it can also make the adoption process a little more complicated.

For children being adopted internationally there are a few different kinds of visas that are granted and each grant different child citizenship. The main four are IH-3, IH-4, IR-3 and IR-4 visas. The IH visas are given for children coming from countries under the Hague Convention and the IR visas are for children coming from non-Hague Convention countries. The IH-3 visas are for children who have had their adoption finalized prior to coming to the U.S. and the IH-4 are for children who are coming into the country in order to be adopted.

The IR visas are similar, but have a few added requirements. The IR-3 visas are for children who have a finalized adoption, but there is an added requirement that at least one of the adopting parents visited the child during the adoption process. The IR-4 visas are for children who are waiting to be adopted, were adopted by only one parent or not seen by the adopting parents during the adoption process.

The child's citizenship also differs depending on the type of visa they receive. IH-3 and IR-3 visas come with automatic citizenship as long as the child is under 18 and lives in the U.S. with their parents. IH-4 and IR-4 visas do not come with automatic citizenship, but they become Permanent Residents. Though they will receive automatic citizenship when their adoption is finalized.

There are many families in Florida seeking to adopt internationally. This can be a very rewarding process, but it can also be a complicated process. Understanding the correct status of the child is key to knowing which visa to apply for and experienced attorneys may be able to guide one through the process.

Source: uscis.gov, "Before your child immigrates to the United States," accessed on July 24, 2017

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