Immigration Lawyer Discusses Obtaining Proof of Citizenship after Adoption

I work with many families and the successful immigration of the new member of their family to the U.S. In my capacity as a lawyer, one area that I always address with my clients is the need to ensure that once the child is adopted, they obtain proof of citizenship. Doing so is essential as it validates that the child is a U.S. citizen.

There are two ways for parents to secure proof of citizenship. They may apply for and obtain a Certificate of Citizenship from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services or they may secure a U.S. passport for the child.

I’ll discuss each process in this blog but if you have any questions or concerns regarding proof of citizenship, I suggest, that you work with an immigration lawyer who is familiar with these processes.

Certificate of Citizenship

There are two ways in which you may secure a Certificate of Citizenship and the manner in which you do so depends upon which type of visa was issued to your child.

IR-3 Visa: These are issued to children entering the U.S. whose new parents have made a full and final adoption within the child’s country of origin. There are exceptions for those parents who work in the U.S. Department of State or who are in the military.

IR-4 Visa: Children coming into the country with an IR-4 visa cannot receive a Certificate of Citizenship until the adoption process has been finalized in a U.S. court. On the day that the adoption is finalized your child becomes a citizen of the United States, provided they are under 18 years old. To apply for a Certificate of Citizenship submit an Application for Certificate of Citizenship (Form N-600) with the appropriate fee. The application may be submitted to your USCIS suboffice or district office. If your child enters the U.S. under an IR-4 visa and prior to entering was officially adopted and the State in which you reside recognizes the adoption, then you do not have to go through a finalization process in the U.S. and you may simply apply for a Certificate of Citizenship.

Obtaining a Passport

It’s not required that you possess a Certificate of Citizenship prior to securing a passport. However, the child’s adoption must be recognized under Federal law as being full and final. Once a foreign adoption is finalized then that means that the adopted child and his/her adoptive parents possess identical rights and obligations as they would have under an adoption decree issued through a State court. Passports are obtained via the State Department.

Proof of Citizenship Important

Possessing proof of citizenship for your adopted child is important when it comes to all legal matters that may involve your child. Having worked with many families as an immigration lawyer, I know that it’s important to be attentive to this process and ensure that it’s completed.

Contact the Ranchod Law Group in Sacramento or Stockton. If you have any questions regarding the process of proof of citizenship or intercountry adoption. To schedule a consultation contact us at (916) 613-3553 or at