The following checklist is for IR-3 cases. For IR-2 cases, please contact us for more information.
Once prospective adoptive parents are in possession of the below documentation, prospective adoptive parents or their authorized agent may file a Form I-600 petition with the U.S. Embassy in Kampala:
- Valid Form I-600A approval (evidenced by form I -171H provisional approval that is sent to you from NVC),
- A legible, certified final adoption decree, or guardianship decree sufficient for the purposes of emigration and adoption in the United States issued by the appropriate High Court in Uganda,
- The child’s long form birth certificate (or if unavailable, other evidence of the child’s age and identity), and
- Long-form death certificates of the biological parents (if deceased); living birth parents will need to appear at the interview.
- All other Form I-600 supporting documentation, as laid out in the following instructions http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/files/form/i-600instr.pdf
Other requested evidentiary documentation may include:
- Irrevocable release from the person/entity who previously had custody
- Irrevocable release(s) from biological parents (if applicable) in both English and their native language.
- Complete court file
- Typically includes documents such as affidavits, the Senior Probation Social Welfare Officer’s report from the child’s district of origin, police reports, etc.
- The orphanage file (if the child came from a children’s home). This file normally contains:
- A care order for the child issued by the local magistrate’s office;
- Police report(s), if applicable;
- Probation and Social Welfare Officer’s reports on the child’s situation;
- Affidavit from the children’s home director or social worker;
- Affidavits from birth relatives or persons who know about the child’s background or circumstances;
If prospective adoptive parents wish to file the Form I-600 petition abroad with the U.S. Embassy in Kampala, they must be physically present in Uganda during some point in the adoption process. This requirement is often accomplished by prospective adoptive parents attending the guardianship or adoption court hearings in Uganda. Once this requirement has been met, prospective adoptive parents may appoint an authorized agent to file the I-600 petition at the U.S. Embassy on their behalf.
To file the Form I-600 at the U.S. Embassy in Kampala, prospective adoptive parents should email KampalaAdoptions@state.gov to request an appointment to file the Form I-600 petition. This should be done prior to scheduling a visa interview or submitting the DS-260 immigrant visa application. The U.S. Embassy in Kampala does not accept walk-in appointments for adoption cases. You must schedule an appointment. Appointments to file the Form I-600 at the U.S. Embassy are scheduled for Monday and Thursday mornings of each week, with the exception of U.S. and Ugandan holidays.
Families who file Form I-600 petitions directly with the U.S. Embassy are not required to remain in Uganda throughout the adjudication of the Form I-600 petitions. Families should not expect to receive immigrant visas for their prospective adoptive children until they have an approved Form I-600, and, ultimately, notification of an approved Immigrant Visa.
Alternatively, families may choose to file the Form I-600 petition directly with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the United States. For information on how to file the Form I-600 petition domestically with USCIS through the National Benefits Center (NBC), please refer to the USCIS website.
Note: The U.S. Embassy cannot process the DS-260, Immigrant Visa Application, until the petitioners have an approved Form I-600 petition. Prospective adoptive parents should not take any action related to the immigrant visa process, including obtaining the medical exam, prior to notification of their Form I-600 petition being approved.
Orphan Determination Process:
Upon receipt of the Form I-600 and accompanying documentation, the U.S. Embassy in Kampala conducts the required orphan determination prior to the Form I-600 petition adjudication. The timeframe for completion of the orphan determination depends on the circumstances of each case and can take anywhere from several days to several months. We cannot tell you in advance how long this process might take.
Note: Consular Officers have limited delegated authority from USCIS and thus may only approve clearly approvable Form I-600 petitions. If the supporting evidence is insufficient to determine if a child meets the definition of an orphan under U.S. immigration law, the U.S. Embassy in Kampala must refer those not clearly approvable Form I-600 petitions to USCIS for further review.
If a case is deemed “not clearly approvable”, the U.S. Embassy in Kampala physically forwards the petition filed on behalf of a child from Uganda to the USCIS Field Office in Rome. Embassy Kampala will provide prospective adoptive parents with a transfer notice indicating when the case is forwarded to USCIS Rome.
Upon receipt of the “not clearly approvable” petition, the USCIS Rome Field Office notifies the petitioner that the case has been received and will take appropriate steps to complete adjudication of the case. The USCIS Rome Field Office will notify the petitioner of the final decision. If the case is approved, USCIS will return the case to the U.S. Embassy in Kampala for visa adjudication.
Immigrant Visa Application:
Upon approval of the Form I-600 petition, the U.S. Embassy in Kampala will notify prospective adoptive parents, provide the case ID(s) for use in completing the Immigrant Visa Application, and schedule the visa interview. Embassy Kampala receives a high volume of adoption cases and wait times for a visa interview may vary. Visas for adoption cases are prioritized over other visa applications. Immigrant visa appointments are normally scheduled on Monday and Wednesday afternoons. You will pay the required immigrant visa fee the day of the visa interview.
Required Documents for the Immigrant Visa Interview:
Form DS-260, Application for Immigrant Visa (https://ceac.state.gov/iv/).
Form DS-1981 Affidavit Concerning Exemption from Immigrant Vaccination Requirements for a Foreign Adopted Child (http://www.travel.state.gov/) (only applies to children ten years of age and younger)
Form I-864 Affidavit of Support (http://www.uscis.gov/)
Prospective adoptive parents’ most recent tax returns (three years)
Evidence of the prospective adoptive parent’s identity and U.S. citizenship. (U.S. passport or, if the passport holder is not present at the interview, a copy of the U.S. passport, notarized by a U.S. notary public or a consular officer at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate)
Four 2” x 2” photographs meeting U.S. visa specifications
Medical examination, done by the International Organization for Migration (IOM). This can only be completed after obtaining the child(ren)’s passport(s). IOM will send the report, once complete, directly to Embassy Kampala. Please note the following information regarding IOM.
Embassy Kampala will provide you with the case ID(s) that will enable you to fill out the DS-260. However, Embassy Kampala will need the following information to issue the ID(s): each child’s gender, name (in SURNAME, First Middle order), and DOB (in DD-MMM-YYYY order). Example: DOE, John James, born 01-JAN-2010, male).
You shouldn’t list your child(ren) as the Petitioner as they are the principal applicant for the visa.
You will need the child(ren)’s passport information to complete this form.
The parent information should reflect your information, NOT the biological parents.
Upon completion of the application, please send an email to Kampalaadoptions@state.gov with the AA (barcode) number.
IOM (International Organization for Migration)
Plot 40 Mackenzie Vale, Kololo
P.O. Box 11431 Kampala, Uganda
Telephone: 256-414-236-622 or 256-312-261-179
0414-344188 or 0393-000003
Or email; firstname.lastname@example.org
IOM’s working hours are:
Monday to Thursday 8:00am to 5:00pm
Friday 8:00am to 2:00pm
Please contact IOM at the above phone number to schedule an appointment and ensure that you take the following with you to your appointment:
“Blue appointment form” which the U.S. Embassy will email to you upon petition approval.
Two (2) passport photos of applicant (size 2″ x 2″)
• Valid photo identification for all present at the appointment
• Previous medical reports (if any)
• Immunization records (if any)
If your child(ren)’s visa is approved, you will normally receive it within two business days, with the exception of the first Friday of the month. In such case, you will normally receive your visa on the following Monday.
Other Useful Information
The vast majority of the time you spend in Uganda processing your child(ren)’s adoption will be consumed by Ugandan legal and bureaucratic processes. You will interact with the U.S. Embassy only for the last steps. Please keep in mind, though, that there are required legal processes involved with adjudicating the Form I-600 petition and immigrant visa(s). You will need to plan for the time these processes require. Please read through the guidance on our website as well as the Country Specific Information page for Uganda.
Before you travel to Uganda, we recommend all U.S. citizens register online with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at http://step.state.gov/. We also encourage prospective adoptive parents to email us at KampalaAdoptions@state.gov in order to let us know you will be in country to process an adoption. Please include the following information:
Prospective adoptive parents name(s)
Date of arrival
Estimated court date
Child(ren)’s (beneficiary’s) name
Contact phone number