Hague Convention Adoption & Immigration

If the intended adoptee is from a Hague Adoption Convention Country, Convention procedure must be utilized in most circumstances no matter where the adoption process is completed.

U.S. Law and the Definition of Convention Adoptee

The child must be under the age of 16 at the time the immigrant visa petition (Form I-800) is filed on his or her behalf (taking into account special rules on filing dates for children aged 15-16), unmarried, and live in a Convention country.

The child must be adopted by a married U.S. citizen and spouse jointly, or by an unmarried U.S. citizen at least 25 years of age, who resides habitually in the United States, whom USCIS has found suitable and eligible to adopt (by approving Form I-800A), and with the intent of creating a legal parent-child relationship.

The child's birth parent(s) or other legal custodians, individuals, or entities whose consent is necessary for adoption, have given freely their written, irrevocable consent for the termination of their legal relationship with the child and to the child's emigration and adoption.

The child has been adopted, or will be adopted, in the United States or in the Convention country according to the rules and procedures of the Hague Adoption Convention and the Intercountry Adoption Act.

Children adopted in Convention countries will receive IH-3 or IH-4 visas.

IH-3 visas are for children who are adopted in a Hague Adoption Convention country. Children who are under 18 automatically acquire U.S. citizenship upon entry to the United States on an IH-3 visa. In such cases, USCIS automatically sends Certificates of Citizenship without requiring additional forms or fees.

IH-4 visas are for children coming from a Convention country who will be adopted in the United States. IH-4 recipients do not automatically acquire U.S. citizenship, but are lawful permanent residents until the adoption is full and final. See our article on the Child Citizenship Act for more information.

For more detailed information about immigration Process for Adopting a child from a Hague Convention Country, please visit on one of the following relevant links: