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US Implements Help Haiti Act

 WASHINGTON - Certain orphaned children from Haiti could soon get a U.S. green card.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, (USCIS), have announced the implementation of the Help HAITI Act of 2010. This new law authorizes USCIS to grant lawful permanent resident status to certain orphaned children from Haiti, who were paroled into the United States under the Haitian Orphan Parole Program after the Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake.

To qualify, the adoption must have been completed in Haiti by a United States citizen and spouse jointly, or by an unmarried United States citizen at least 25 years of age.

The child must have been adopted before his/her`s 16th birthday and the adopted parent must have legal custody of the child for 2 full years, which includes any formal custody granted before the actual adoption. The child must also be admissible as an immigrant.

U.S. citizen parents must file a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative and I-485 together with appropriate fees. If the Form I-485 is approved, the child becomes a Permanent Resident.

If the child becomes a Permanent Resident before the child`s 18th birthday, and is residing in the United States with the citizen parent who has legal and physical custody of the child, the child will automatically become a U.S. citizen by operation of law. That parent may then file Form N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship or apply for a U.S. passport for evidence of their child`s U. S. citizenship.

The Permanent Resident adoptive parent must file the Form I-130 with appropriate fees, but the child will not be able to adjust to Permanent Resident status until a visa number becomes available in accordance with the Department of State Visa Bulletin in order to file Form I-485. The adopted child will not automatically become a U.S. citizen.



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