Frequently Asked Questions about Adopting While Living Overseas

Prospective adoptive families must use an agency that is both U.S. Hague accredited and a CCCWA-licensed agency for all steps in the intercountry adoption process.  Your adoption agency can walk you through the steps to adopt, which are the same for U.S citizens living inside or outside of the United States.

If adopting parents currently live outside of the United States, their child may not automatically acquire U.S. citizenship upon arrival in the United States. For more information on the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, please see the Department of State’s website for intercountry adoption.

Children adopted by U.S. citizens who currently reside overseas and who intend to continue residing overseas may apply for a nonimmigrant visa. This application can be submitted after adopting parents have completed their child’s adoption in accordance with the requirements of the Hague Convention. Please note this application is dependent upon receipt of an approved U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) appointment for expeditious naturalization. Your child’s appointment for expeditious naturalization must be completed in the United States. You should be prepared to present proof of your pending appointment to the consular officer conducting your child’s nonimmigrant visa interview. Information on filing an N-600K to obtain this approval is available at USCIS’s website.

U.S. citizens currently residing overseas, and who intend to take up residence in the United States upon their adopted child’s entry to the United States, should apply for an immigrant visa.   Please note than an immigrant visa application does require a U.S.-based address.

Adopting parents are encouraged to contact the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou with any questions regarding the type of visa they should apply for their child.

No.  Your child can only enter the United States one time with an IH-3 visa.  We highly recommend that before you leave the U.S. you obtain your child’s U.S. passport.

No, if you are living overseas on assignment with the U.S. Government you are considered a legal resident of the United States and your adopted child traveling on an IH-3 visa will automatically acquire U.S. citizenship upon admission at the port of entry.

For additional questions on overseas resident adoptions please email our office at