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Adoption Based Green Card

An Adoption Based Green card is a great way for foreign-born children adopted by U.S. citizens or permanent residents to gain lawful permanent residency status in the United States. It’s important that applicants understand all eligibility requirements and be prepared with all necessary paperwork before starting their applications so that there are fewer delays during processing time. 

Adopting a Child Internationally 

The first requirement for eligibility is that you must have adopted your child internationally. This means that the child must be a citizen of another country, and they must not have been born in the United States or acquired U.S. citizenship through any other means. Your child must also be under 16 years old at the time of adoption, or at least 18 years old if they were once your stepchild. Additionally, if your child was over 16 when they were adopted, then you must also show that you legally cared for them prior to their 16th birthday as evidence of your commitment to them as a parent. 

Eligibility Requirements 

In order to be eligible for an Adoption Based Green card, the foreign-born child must meet all of the following criteria: 

The child must be under 16 years old when their adoption was finalized (or 18 if they are a step-child). 
The child must have been adopted by at least one U.S. citizen or permanent resident parent, who has had legal custody of them for at least two years prior to applying.  

The adoption must have been legally completed according to all applicable U.S. state laws. 
The adoptive parents must prove that they can financially support the child when they arrive in the United States.
The adoptive parents must submit certified copies of all of their adoption paperwork with their application.  

Adoption-Based Green Card Types of Eligibility 

If you’re looking to become a U.S. permanent resident through adoption, there are several types of eligibility requirements you must meet in order to get your green card. Understanding the different types of eligibility can help you know what to expect when you begin the process and ensure that your application is successful. Let’s take a look at the different types of adoption-based green card eligibility requirements. 

Immediate Relative Eligibility- The Immediate Relative category is for individuals who have been adopted by a U.S. citizen parent or parents, are under 21 years old, and have lived in the United States continuously since before they were 16 years old. This category also includes stepchildren, half-siblings, and children born out of wedlock if certain conditions are met. To be eligible for an immediate relative green card, applicants will need to submit an I-130 petition for an alien relative, as well as other supporting documents such as birth certificates and proof of identity and relationship between the applicant and their parent or parents who adopted them. 
Form I-600 Eligibility- Form I-600 is another type of adoption-based green card eligibility that applies to individuals who were adopted by a U.S. citizen but were not living in the United States when they were 16 years old or younger, or who are over 21 years old at the time of filing their application for permanent residence status. To qualify for this type of eligibility, applicants must have been legally adopted by their U.S.-citizen parent or parents before they turned 16 and must be residing outside the United States at least 18 months prior to filing their application under this program; they also must have resided continuously with their adoptive parent(s) since before reaching age 16 until they file their Form I-600 petition; additionally, all other applicable immigration laws must be satisfied in order for an individual to be able to receive an immigrant visa based on this form I-600 petition approval.
Form I-800 Eligibility- The third type of adoption-based green card eligibility is Form I-800 which applies to “orphan” applicants only; that is children from another country who do not have any living parents or legal guardians in their home country and thus cannot be adopted under that country’s laws. In order for these orphans to become eligible for Form I-800 immigration benefits, they must first receive “convention adoptee” status from USCIS (U.S Citizenship & Immigration Services). In addition, prospective adoptive parents must meet certain requirements such as being financially able to support the child; having completed a home study approved by USCIS; providing evidence that they are suitable adoptive parents; demonstrating knowledge regarding basic parenting skills; and undergoing background checks including criminal history checks among other things in order to gain convention adoptee status.  

Adoption-based green card eligibility can be complicated but understanding each type can help make it easier when applying for permanent residency status through adoption in the United States. Depending on your particular circumstances, you may qualify under one or more categories discussed here today: Immediate Relative Eligibility (I130), Forms I 600/I 800 Eligibility, and Orphan Applicants (Form I 800). No matter which type you apply under it is important that you understand all the requirements so that your application process goes smoothly and quickly. 

Who Is Not Eligible? 

In order for an adoption-based green card to be approved, both the adoptive parent and the adopted child must meet certain eligibility requirements. The list of ineligible applicants includes those who are applying for a green card through adoption but do not meet all of the criteria set forth by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This includes individuals who are: 

Under 18 years of age; 
Not married; 
Have been convicted of certain crimes; or 
Have HIV/AIDS or other medical conditions that would make them inadmissible into the United States. 
It is also important to note that if either party has failed to complete the necessary paperwork or provide proper documentation, they may be deemed ineligible for the green card application process.  

Filing Fees and Supporting Documents 

In addition to meeting all the eligibility requirements, applicants will need to pay a filing fee and submit several other documents in order to complete their application for an Adoption-Based Green card. The filing fee is currently $235 USD, plus any additional fees required by your state’s laws (if applicable). Applicants will need to submit documents such as proof of identity and citizenship, medical records, police certificates from countries where you lived since age 16, and evidence of a relationship between adoptive parents and child(ren). If you are applying for more than one child under this program then you will need to include separate applications for each child along with all corresponding documentation for each individual applicant.  

Green cards through the Adoption Process 

The first thing to understand is that in order for an individual to qualify for an Adoption Based Green card, they must meet certain criteria. Generally speaking, the adoptive parent must have filed Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) before the child was 16 years old and the child must have been living with their adoptive parents since birth or since they turned 16. Additionally, any adopted sibling of the child must also qualify as “related” in order for them to receive a green card. 

Meeting Requirements for Adoption-Based Green Cards 

Once it has been established that you have legally adopted an eligible foreign-born minor, there are additional requirements you will need to meet in order to qualify for an Adoption-based Green Card. 

It is important that all members of your family unit are listed on either one or two applications — depending on how many members there are in total — and that all necessary documentation is submitted with each application. 
You will also need to provide evidence that the adoption was finalized before your family entered the United States and proof of financial support for yourself and each member listed on your applications. 
All members listed on the applications appear before a U.S. immigration officer during their interview at their local USCIS office prior to being approved for an Adoption-based Green Card. 
Adoption-based green cards can be complex, but with careful preparation and knowledge of what’s required by law, adopting parents can successfully complete the process and bring their families together in America with ease.

If you believe you qualify for an Adoption Based Green Card then contact your local USCIS office today so they can help guide you through this process and answer any questions or concerns you may have along the way! Good luck!