Adoption: IR-3 Visa


On this page:


IR-3 visa is for an orphan who is under the age of sixteen at the time a petition is filed and has been adopted abroad by a United States citizen and spouse jointly, or by an unmarried United States citizen, who personally saw and observed the child prior to or during the adoption proceedings.

How to Apply

Step 1: File a Petition

To bring an adopted child to the United States from Korea, you must be found eligible to adopt by the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government agency responsible for making this determination is United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If you have already identified a child you want to adopt (or you have already adopted the child), you may file Form I-600, Petition to Classify an Orphan as an Immediate Relative. You can have USCIS review both your suitability as an adoptive parent and the child’s status as an orphan at the same time.

You may also begin the orphan process before you identify a particular child for adoption. You do so by filing Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition. Submit the home study with the Form I-600A. If USCIS approves your Form I-600A, the finding that you are suitable as an adoptive parent will make it unnecessary to address this issue again when you file a Form I-600 for a particular child. Once a particular child has been identified, you would then file a Form I-600 for that child. For additional information about how to file a Form I-600A or I-600 with USCIS, visit the USCIS website.

Step 2: Adopt a child

Each adoption case in Korea requires the permission of the Family Court. The Family Court grants order for the adoption after a court hearing for the prospective adoptive. In addition to the U.S. requirements for orphans and adoptive parents, you must also meet the requirements for adoptions in Korea. Click here to learn more about adoptions from Korea.

Step 3: Immigrant Visa Interview

Once USCIS has approved the I-600 petition based on the final adoption order by the Family Court, apply for an IR3 immigrant visa at the U.S. Embassy. This IR3 visa allows your adopted child to travel home with you. As part of this process, the Consular Officer must review the Panel Physician's medical report on the child.

If all the documentation for the orphan is in order and there are no legal bars to visa issuance, the orphan will be provided with an IR3 visa consisting of a packet of supporting documentation and the visa placed in the child's passport. Both should be hand-carried with the child when they travel to the United States and should be presented to the immigration inspectors at the port of entry.

For more information regarding adoptions, see the Department of State’s website and the adoption-related pages on the USCIS website.