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US State Department

After finalizing a foreign adoption, by receiving the US immigrant Visa at the foreign countries US embassy, often the adoptive parents think the adoption process is finally over. Unfortunately, this is not so. The immigrant Visa (IR-3, IR-4) allows the adoptee to enter the country under a "green" card provision. Actual citizenship is not automatically conferred. Upon issuance of the immigrant Visa, the embassy will advise you to fill out a (yet another...) form for the State Department to receive a Certificate of Citizenship for the Child, or a passport, to actually obtain US citizenship. At this time you will need to provide the State Department (which is separate from the INS) certified and notarized translations of all foreign documents (again!) concerning the adoption- in general the State Department is also usually much stricter concerning translations than the local embassy is. This is because the local embassy will most likely be staffed by bilingual personnel who will be able to read the original documents, whereas the State Department probably will not be. In particular, your original marriage certificate (if foreign) and final adoption decree will have to be submitted along with certified translations for your child's certificate of citizenship. Then, with help of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, your child will finally be an American!

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