Adoption is a wonderful way to grow a family and to give a child a home. Many people in North Carolina choose to adopt a child from another country. If this is your situation, you may wonder what you need to do to make your adopted child a U.S. citizen.
Automatic Certificate of Citizenship
The Automatic Certificate of Citizenship for IR-3 and IH-3 visas is the legal document that provides proof that your adopted child has U.S. Citizenship. Upon entering the U.S. with your child, your child’s visa packet will be sent to an immigration Field Office. It will then be processed, and a Certificate of Citizenship will be sent to you.
If your child is age 14 or above, they will sign their Certificate of Citizenship. If your child is under the age of 14, you will sign the certificate for your child.
What if there is a mistake on the certificate?
If there is a mistake on your child’s Certificate of Citizenship, you need to notify U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services with 10 days of the postmark on the certificate and provide them with a written explanation of the error, the original certificate and two new passport-style photos. If you do this, a corrected certificate will be sent to you for free.
Note that the name and information included on the certificate are those listed in other legal documents such as the adoption decree or revised birth certificate attached to your child’s visa. Your child’s height may naturally change between adoption and entry into the U.S. and the USCIS will use a template to approximate your child’s height on the certificate.
Grow your family through international adoption
If you adopt a child from abroad, you may find the process of citizenship to be confusing. Fortunately, you can seek help to ensure you do not make any mistakes during the process, so your new child can be assured of U.S. citizenship.