IR-3 Visa  Explained

IR-3 Visa Explained

What is the IR-3 Visa

A U.S. citizen wish to adopt children from other countries and then bring them to the United States to live with their families. To do so, the adopted child must have a valid US visa and be permitted entry into the country. When US citizens complete adoption processes in the kid's home country outside of the United States, the child is eligible for the IR-3 visa.

The IR-3 visa permits the child to remain in the United States with his or her adoptive parents, attend school, finish their education, work without an EAD, and eventually earn US citizenship if they are eligible.

The IR-3 visa, like all other visas in the Immediate Family category, has no cap, thus any child who qualifies for the IR-3 visa will be processed immediately upon application and will not have to wait for their priority date to become current.

Types of adoption that qualify for the IR-3 visa

The US government recognizes two forms of adoption, which are determined by the country from whence the child was adopted. These are they:

  • Hague country convention adoptions

  • Non-Hague country adoptions

In 1993, the Hague Adoption Convention was created, establishing laws and procedures for international adoption. The application procedures differ depending on whether the kid is adopted from a Hague Convention country or from a non-Hague Convention country.

here is the list of Hague Convention Countries. However, citizens of the United States are not permitted to adopt children from the nations listed below.

Bolivia, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Fiji, Guatemala, Kenya, Kazakhstan, Rwanda, Senegal, Vietnam and Zambia. 

What Are the Requirements for the IR-3 visa?

Both the kid being adopted and US citizens must meet the requirements of the IR-3 visa. These standards determine the child's IR-3 visa eligibility and are as follows:

  • According to the US Immigration and Nationality Act, the child must be eligible (INA)

  • The child must be under the age of twenty-one.

  • The child must be from a Hague Convention country or a non-Hague Convention country.

  • The US citizen parent must be willing to adopt the child and pass a US Citizenship and Immigration Services eligibility exam (USCIS)

  • The parent must intend to bring the child to the United States to live with them.

  • A valid US address is required for a US citizen.

How to apply for the IR-3 visa?

Because there are distinct procedures for obtaining the IR-3 visa depending on the nation where the adoption is being done, the application procedures for both The Hague and Non-Hague Country Conventions are listed below.

Hague Country Convention Application

  • Choose an adoption service provider that is likewise accredited or approved by the United States. This will ensure that you follow the requirements and that your adoption service follows the laws and regulations as well.

  • Obtain Adoption Eligibility approval. USCIS will require you to submit Form I-800A, Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country. A background check, fingerprint check, and home study are all required to file this form. If your application is granted, USCIS will determine the age range and number of children you can adopt, as well as whether you can adopt a child with special needs.

  • Apply to adopt and be matched with a child in a Hague Convention country of your choice. The adoptive country's officials will examine your documents and USCIS approval before locating an eligible child for adoption. Each Hague countries may have its own set of regulations, so double-check what you'll need to provide. The authorities in that nation will give you referral documentation once they have located youngsters who match the qualifying criteria. The documentation will include information about the child's background, family history, medical history, and any other special requirements. The adoption center, biological parents' consent, and other necessary parties' signatures will be included in the file.

  • Make sure the child is eligible for immigration by filing Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative, with the USCIS. You must fulfill all of these stages and indicate that you have not yet received adoption or guardianship of the child. This is to prevent US individuals from adopting children who may be ruled ineligible to immigrate under US immigration laws. You can proceed to the following step if USCIS approves your petition.

  • Fill out Form DS-260, Online Immigrant Visa Application, and send it to the US Embassy or Consulate in the country where the child will be adopted. The DS-260 will ask for background information and other details about the child.

  • You must submit the form online and acquire a submission confirmation letter.
    If all of the procedures are completed and authorized, the US Embassy or Consulate in the country where you are adopting will issue an Article 5/17 Letter stating that the child is qualified to immigrate to the United States. You can only get an adoption or guardianship order once you get this letter.

  • Submit the supporting documents, such as the kid's birth certificate and passport, to complete the IR-3 visa application procedure for your child. Also, make an appointment for an interview at the US Embassy and show up for the interview. Make sure to submit your final adoption or guardianship order to the officials during this interview.

Non-Hague Convention Application 

  • Select a desired adoption center in the nation where the kid will be adopted.

  • To assess your suitability as an adoptive parent, submit Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition to USCIS. To assess whether you are eligible to adopt children, USCIS will conduct a background check, fingerprint check, and home study. However, unlike the Hague Convention Country adoption process, it will not consider whether or whether a kid is an orphan.

  • Obtain an adoption or guardianship order from the authorities in the nation where the kid will be adopted.

  • Fill out Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, and send it to USCIS to see if the child qualifies for immigration under US law. Include supporting documentation with your petition, such as:

  1. If the child's birth certificate is not available, a written explanation of the child's identity and age is required.

  2. Evidence indicating the child lacks parents or that the biological parents are unable to care for their child and have agreed to give their child up for adoption.

  3. Proof that the adoption is finalized or that you plan to adopt the child.

  4. Form I-604 will then be completed by USCIS or a Consular Officer in the country from which you are adopting the child. The National Visa Center (NVC) will advise you of the following actions to take if your application is granted.

  5. Fill out Form DS-260, Online Immigrant Visa Application, to submit your IR-3 visa application and arrange your visa interview. Bring your entire file of documentation for the child's adoption to the interview.

What are the IR-3 visa fees?

You must pay the expenses associated with filing the paperwork, as well as other supporting fees, depending on the application procedure you will use. USCIS determines the amounts, although these are the fees that generally apply.

1. The filing fee for Form I-800A
2. The filing fee for Form I-800
3. Processing expenses for Form DS-260
4. The filing fee for Form I-600A
5. The filing fee for Form I-600
6. Fees for translation

7. Obtaining supporting papers fees

How long is the IR-3 visa processing time?

The processing period for an IR-3 visa varies depending on the situation. It can take anywhere from 6 months to more than a year to bring your adopted kid to the United States, depending on the procedures and regulations you follow and how long it takes to acquire adoption clearance from foreign nations.

With an IR-3 visa, can I have access to American healthcare?

As an IR-3 visa holder, you will have access to healthcare in the United States.


Complex immigration processing can be incredibly complicated and stressful for everyone. Before filing this application, you should seek legal advice from an experienced attorney. can provide assistance. Please contact us via phone or email. We are here to assist you.