Obtaining a VISA for an adopted child

Requirements for an Immigrant Visa

U.S. law requires that the adopted child, regardless of age, be brought to the Embassy for a personal appearance before the consular officer at the time of the interview for the immigrant visa.

Required Documents for IR-3 and IR-4 Visas

  1. Confirmation from USCIS of an approved and valid I-600A petition;
  2. Completed I-600 petition, with original signatures of both adopting parents.   Please note, that if parents are adopting only one child, or biological siblings, there is no fee for filing the I-600 petition(s), provided I-600A has already been approved.  If, however, parents are adopting two or more biologically unrelated children, there will be a $720 fee for each additional child.  You can download this form here: http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-600.pdf
  3. Completed immigrant visa application, Form DS-260, Parts I and II (Please see our instructions on completing this form at this page: http://photos.state.gov/libraries/ukraine/213088/pdf-files/Public_Notice_%20on_%20DS-260_Adoptions.pdf
  4. Results of the child’s immigrant visa physical examination, including a vaccination report.  The cost of the medical exam for all children of all ages is USD $215 (effective April 1, 2013), payable in Ukrainian Hryvnya to the clinic at the time of the exam.  Additional fees may be charged if any of the required vaccinations are missing.  The medical immigrant visa examination instructions contain more information.
  5. Affidavit of Acknowledgement of Health Problems of the Adopted Child.  Please do not sign this document before you come to the Embassy – both parents’ signatures will be notarized by a consular officer during the interview.  If one of the adopting parents is not going to attend the final visa interview, that parent can sign the form in the presence of a notary in the U.S. prior to the interview.   Please make sure to include all health problems that are listed in the adoption court decree and the medical history of the child(ren) (if available).  You can download this form here:http://photos.state.gov/libraries/ukraine/895/pdf/health_acknowledgement.pdf
  6. Affidavit of Vaccinations Requirement Waiver (DS-1981).  The form may be signed by either of the adopting parents and notarized by a U.S. Consular Officer during the interview or a U.S. notary public prior to the interview.  This form is required only for children 10 years of age and younger.  You can download this form here: http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/80002.pdf.
  7. Completed Form I-864W (Intending Immigrant’s Affidavit of Support Exemption).  You can download this form here: http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-864w.pdf.
  8. Immigrant visa fee of U.S. $230 for each child (if a second adopted child is unrelated to the first one, an additional I-600 application fee of $720 is also charged) – payable in U.S. cash or Ukrainian Hryvna to the Embassy cashier.
  9. An original and two copies of the Ukrainian court decree granting the adoption.
  10. An original and two copies of a birth certificate issued in the child’s new (adopted) name.
  11. Two copies of the court decree declaring that the child is an orphan and/or unambiguously declaring that any surviving parents have no legal parental rights under Ukrainian law.  As an alternative to the court decree, adopting parents may present two copies of a certificate of abandonment produced by the biological parents, the police or the hospital.
  12. Two notarized copies of the child’s pre-adoption birth certificate.  NOTE: The district office of vital records confiscates this birth certificate as part of the adoption proceedings, so please make the copies before your court date.
  13. The original and a copy of a Ukrainian travel document (passport), issued in the child’s new adopted name.
  14. The original and a copy of each of the adopting parents’ passports.
  15. Two passport-size frontal facial photographs of the child.
  16. Police certificates for adopted youths age 16 or older.  All visa applicants, including those being adopted by U.S. citizens, must obtain police certificates from Ukraine and any other country in which they have lived for at least one year since the applicant’s sixteenth birthday.
  17. In Ukraine the police certificate (form IP-1) can be obtained from the oblast centers from the Departments of Information Technology at the Ministry of Internal Affairs.  The police certificate must include all of the names the adopted child has ever used (both pre and post-adoption) in the country in which the police certificate is issued.  In addition to the actual certificate, petitioners should also submit a translation and copy of the certificate.

Each Ukrainian document and copy submitted must be accompanied by official English translations.

One set (for each child) of photocopied documents with English translations for each child will be retained for use in issuing the immigrant visa.  Therefore, if you wish to keep photocopies for your records, you must make these prior to the interview.

Additional Requirements for an IR-4 Visa

  1. Certified copy of the approved home study.
  2. Evidence that the pre-adoption requirements of the adopting parents’ state of residence have been met.
  3. Evidence that re-adoption is legally possible in the parents’ state of residence, if applicable.
  4. A notarized statement from the parent who has not met the child, that he or she intends to adopt the child in the United States.
  5. Form I-864 Affidavit of Support or Form I-864EZ (completed by the adopting parent) and Form I-864A (completed by a non-adopting parent, if required), accompanied by supporting documentation.  You can download both forms here: http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-864.pdf; http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-864a.pdf ; http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-864ez.pdf.
  6. Forms I-600 and Acknowledgement of Health Problem must be signed by the petitioner’s spouse as well.  The spouse’s signature should be notarized by a U.S. notary public prior to the interview appointment.

Please note that your adopted child is not a U.S. citizen and can not obtain a U.S. passport until he or she enters the territory of the U.S.

Therefore, if you are transiting other countries en route to the U.S., or if you are temporarily residing abroad, your Ukrainian-citizen child may require a non-immigrant visa from the third country, especially if your stay in that country will exceed 24 hours.  Please check with the corresponding Embassies about their requirements and hours of operation.  The U.S. Embassy cannot make such arrangements for you.

New Machine-Readable Immigrant Visas (MRV)

The MRIV includes a digitized photo and will be placed in the child’s passport, similar to a nonimmigrant visa.  For the few cases in which an adopted child is 14 years old and over, the MRIV will also include a biometric indicator (fingerprint scan).  The Embassy will prepare a separate sealed envelope with important immigration documents that you must carry with you and present to the immigration officer with the visa when the child enters the United States.

The immigrant visa is valid for 180 days from the date of issuance (i.e. adopting children have 180 days to use the immigrant visa to travel to the United States.  Do NOT open the sealed envelope for USCIS.  Documents submitted to the Embassy are in this packet and will not be returned.  Therefore, adopting parents should obtain extra originals or certified copies of the adoption decree and the child’s new birth certificate for their personal use in the future, including for application for a U.S. passport and Social Security number.  The packet should be in your carry-on luggage and must be presented intact to the USCIS officer at the port of entry.

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