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The International Adoption Immigration Category in Canada

About 2,000 foreign children are adopted by citizens or permanent residents of Canada every year. Canada's immigration system works to deal with these adoptions as quickly as possible. However, international adoption can be a long process. This article describes the process of Immigrating and Adopted Children to Canada. While the process may seem long, it is necessary to protect adoptive children.

Before you apply

You must complete two processes for an international adoption. You need to understand the steps in both of these processes if you are thinking about adopting a child from overseas.

1) The Adoption Process

  • The provincial and territorial governments are responsible for adoptions in Canada. Your first step should be to contact your Provincial and Territorial Government Offices to get information about adopting a child.
  • Some provinces and territories use licensed agencies to handle most of the adoption process. Your provincial or territorial government office will tell you if you will need to contact a licensed agency.
  • If you want to adopt a child from a foreign country, you must obey the laws of that country about adoption. Make sure you understand the laws before beginning the adoption process. Your province or its licensed adoption agency can advise you on these requirements.
  • The Hague Convention governs international adoptions in many countries, including Canada. Your provincial government office will explain the requirements if your adoptive child is coming from a country that follows the Hague Convention. Follow the Hague Convention link avbove to learn more.

The Immigration Process

  • You must meet all of the immigration requirements before Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) can issue a visa for your adoptive child to come to Canada. You must also meet all of the requirements of your province, and of your adoptive child's home country.
  • There are two parts to the immigration process:
    • applying for sponsorship
    • applying for permanent residence
  • See Who can apply and How to apply for more information.
  • You may complete the application yourself or hire a professional immigration consultant to complete your application.

Additional Information:

You need to obtain a a permanent resident visa in order to bring an adopted child to Canada. A permanent resident visa is a document that allows an adoptive child to enter Canada to live permanently. When the child enters Canada, he or she must present the visa to an immigration officer at the point of entry. The permanent resident visa is needed to grant the child permanent resident status in Canada, and is issued when all immigration requirements are met. This visa will expire one year after the medical examination of the child and must be used to bring the child into Canada before that date. You cannot bring your child to Canada until you are notified that the child's permanent resident visa has been issued.

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