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Understanding the Immediate Relative Process for adopted children

Georgia residents who are dealing with child immigration issues may be interested in an alternative method for bringing an adopted child into the U.S. If the requirements are met, this could allow the child to gain permanent residency when brought into the country by an adoptive parent.

While provisions for giving permanent residence status to the adopted children of U.S. citizens under fall under the Orphan or Hague adoption procedures, there is a third way that can be used to allow an adopted child admission to the United States. This is known as the Immediate Relative Process. One major difference between this process and the others is that the adoptive parent does not have to be a U.S. citizen; permanent residents may be able to take advantage of this procedure as well.

There are two requirements for the overseas adopted child to gain residency. First, the adoption must have taken place before the child reached the age of 16. Evidence of this fact must be presented when applying. Second, the adoptive parent must have had custody of the child for at least two years while they were a minor, though there are exceptions in some instances of child abuse. If the first requirement is not met and the child was still adopted between their 16th and 18th birthdays, they may gain residency if that child has a sibling who was adopted by the parent prior to their 16th birthday.

Understanding the processes that accompany adopted child immigration and DACA program issues may be difficult without the help of an attorney. The attorney may be able to handle the immigration process or any other immigration law tasks, including international adoption, immigrant visas and applying for permanent residence.

Source: US CIS, "Other Adoption Related Immigration", December 15, 2014

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