- The Child Citizenship Act (CCA)
CCA became effective on February 27, 2001. The CCA represents a significant and important change in the U.S. immigration law. Under the new law, most foreign-born children adopted by U.S. citizens will automatically acquire U.S. citizenship.
- Qualification of automatic citizenship of adopted orphans
Under the CCA, the adopted orphan will automatically acquire U.S. citizenship on the date that all of the following requirements are satisfied:
- At least one adoptive parent is a U.S. citizen and meets certain requirements;
- The child is under 18 years of age;
- A full and final adoption of the child is completed; and
- The child is in a valid non-immigrant status in the US.
Steps for meeting the CCA requirements
For orphans issued an IR-3 visa:
Adopted orphans under the age of 18 who are admitted with valid IR-3 visas (children already fully adopted abroad) automatically receive US Citizenship based on the date of entry into the US. The USCIS will review IR-3 packets and automatically send Certificates of Citizenship to approved orphans parents. No additional fees or paperwork are required.
For orphans issued an IR-4 visa:
Adopted orphans who receive admission based on a valid IR-4 visa (orphans have not had a valid adoption for US immigration purposes) will become legal permanent residents and receive a green card upon entry to the US. The orphan will receive automatic citizenship once a full and final adoption is completed in the US. In order to receive automatic citizenship, the adoption must occur before the child has reached 18 years of age. Proof of citizenship may be attained by filing the N-600 form and necessary fees with a USCIS office.
For orphans 18 years of age or older, issued an IR-3 or IR-4 visa:
If the adopted orphan cannot meet all requirements prior to his 18th birthday, he no longer qualifies for automatic citizenship. He must apply for naturalization independently and meet eligibility requirements that currently exist for adult lawful permanent residents.
For other information about Adoption and Immigration, please click
on one of the following topics below:
A Brief Background for Adoption
Who can be considered as a child?
What about an adopted child?
Adopted by a US Citizen
Adopted by a Permanent Resident
Adopted by an Alien with a Valid Non-immigration Visa
The Immigration Procedure for Adoption
Citizenship of the Adopted Child
Adopted Child and His Natural Parents
ORPHAN ADOPTION PROGRAM
Orphan Adoption Program and Eligibility
Advance Processing and Orphan Petitions
The Immigration Procedure for Adopted Orphans
Citizenship of the Adopted Orphan
HAGUE CONVENTION ADOPTION PROGRAM
Hague Convention Adoption and Eligibility
Differences between Hague adoptions (I-800) and orphan adoptions (I-600)
Frequently Asked Question about Adoption and Immigration
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