Question: My wife and I were unable to have our own children. Therefore, we looked to adopt a child. Because this took years in the U.S., we decided to do an international adoption which has turned out to be much quicker. However, now that the adoption has gone through, we are unsure what must be done to bring our adopted child into the United States. Can you help?
Answer: Yes. Eduardo Aguirre, Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), today announced an important step toward the fulfillment of the Child Citizenship Act (CCA). USCIS is launching a CCA Program to simplify and streamline the process by which parents obtain a Certificate of Citizenship for their children.
“I want prospective parents, who are seriously considering international adoption, to know that the process just got a little easier. This program will help parents to more rapidly realize the privileges of American citizenship for their children. It accelerates reassurance of their child’s citizenship status,” said Director Aguirre.
One of the Director’s eight strategic initiatives, the CCA Program will eliminate the backlog of N-643 forms (Application for Certificate of Citizenship in Behalf of an Adopted Child) relating to children affected by the CCA. Additionally, the program will soon automatically provide Certificates of Citizenship to certain adopted children within 45 days of entry into the United States. These Certificates of Citizenship will be produced and mailed to the parents without application and without fee.
Managed from the USCIS Buffalo, New York District Office, the program will initiate 45-day processing for children who fall within the Immediate Relative visa category. This will be for adoptions whereby adoptions are made final overseas. This program will eliminate the issuance of a Permanent Resident Card for newly entering children, since these cards are not applicable to U.S. citizens.
Question: What must I do to fall under this program?
Answer: Assuming you are a U.S. Citizen and your child is under 18 years old, he or she will be considered to be an Immediate Relative. You must petition him or her for lawful permanent residency. Once this is done, then the adopted child can enter the United States. The moment the child takes one step in the United States, he or she will automatically become a U.S. Citizen. According to the new policy, the Certificate of Citizenship should be sent within about 45 days.