How to Obtain a Certificate of Citizenship for an Adopted Child Who Has the IR-3 Visa

U.S. citizens who adopt a child from another country bring the child to the U.S. with either a IR-3 or an IR-4 visa. The type of visa is determined according to whether or not the adoption must be completed in the United States. The IR-3 is the visa issued for those adoptions that were done in a foreign country and are deemed valid and legal; the IR-4 is issued to those needing to complete the adoption in the U.S. According to the Child Citizenship Act Program, as of January 20, 2004, minor children entering the U.S. with an IR-3 will be issued a certificate of citizenship automatically. However, if there is a delay or problem receiving the certificate, the parents can follow the following steps.

Things You'll Need

  • IR-3
  • Adoption documents


  1. Contact the USCIS

    • 1

      Contact the United States Citizenship and Imigration Service National Customer Service Center if it has been more than 45 days since the child entered the U.S. The number for the national customer service center is 1 800 375 5283.

    • 2

      Provide the USCIS with the details of the case to be forwarded to the appropriate USCIS office and agent. The agent should follow up on the case within 48 hours.

    • 3

      Talk with the USCIS agent following up on the case and provide him with any updated contact and mailing address information needed to be mailed the certificate of citizenship. If the child entered the U.S. before 2004 or was 18 years old upon entering the U.S. it may be necessary to file a Form N-600. The provision to be automatically granted a certificate of citizenship under the Child Citizenship Act Program does not apply in these instances.

    File a Form N-600

    • 4

      Download the Form N-600 from the USCIS website.

    • 5

      Print a copy of the instructions for the N-600 from the USCIS site and use these to fill out the form.

    • 6

      Submit the form along with two identical color photos of the applicant taken within 30 days of submitting the application to the USCIS Field Office with jurisdiction over the place of residence. Include the appropriate application fee with the form and photos. As of 2010, the fee is $550 for adoptive parents submitting the application for a minor child. Adoptees may apply apply for a certificate of citizenship if 18 years or older, but must pay a $600 fee.

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  • Photo Credit child image by Renata Osinska from

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