The family-based petition process is one of the three different processes for an individual to immigrate to the United States based on adoption. The Hague and orphan processes apply to children who are adopted by U.S. citizens and meet the specific requirements of those programs.
Lawful permanent residents and U.S. citizens can use the family-based petition process. However, this process is generally not available to children from Hague countries.
Along with meeting other criteria, the adoptive parent petitioner must have evidence of a final adoption before the child’s 16th birthday (or 18th birthday if an exception applies) and satisfy the two-year legal custody and joint residence requirements before the adopted child may be considered their “child” for purposes of immigration benefits.
For more information on eligibility for the family-based petition process, go to our Other Adoption-Related Immigration page.
For information on applying for lawful permanent residence on behalf of a relative, go to our Green Card page.
How to File
You may file online or by paper.
Create a USCIS online account to file online and:
- Submit evidence and pay fees electronically;
- Receive case status updates about your case and see complete case history;
- Communicate with us securely and directly; and
- Respond to Requests for Evidence.
If you already have a USCIS online account, sign into your account to get started.
File by Paper
- Read the Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative;
- Complete and sign your Form I-130;
- Pay the filing fee, if applicable; and
- Provide all required evidence and supporting documentation.
Want status updates about your case? Learn how to create a USCIS online account to stay informed.
After You File
Once we receive your form, you will receive a:
- Receipt notice confirming we received your petition;
- Biometric services notice, if applicable;
- Notice to appear for an interview, if required; and
- Notice of our decision.