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Kyrgyzstan – Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions
Last Update: Reissued with updates to health information.
Exercise normal precautions in Kyrgyzstan.
Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Kyrgyzstan.
If you decide to travel to the Kyrgyz Republic:
The Kyrgyz Republic is a party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention or Convention). Intercountry adoption processing in Convention countries must be done in accordance with the requirements of the Hague Adoption Convention; the U.S. implementing legislation, the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA); and the IAA’s implementing regulations; as well as the implementing legislation and regulations of the Kyrgyz Republic.
Note: If any of the following occurred prior to November 1, 2016, the date on which the Hague Adoption Convention entered into force for the Kyrgyz Republic, the Hague Adoption Convention may not apply to your adoption: 1) you filed a Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition, identifying the Kyrgyz Republic as the country where you intended to adopt and the approval is still valid; 2) you filed a Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, on behalf of a child from the Kyrgyz Republic, or 3) the adoption was completed. Under these circumstances, your adopted child’s adoption could continue to be processed as a non-Convention intercountry adoption. For more information, read about Hague Transition Cases. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with the details of the case if this situation applies to you.
To bring an adopted child to the United States from The Kyrgyz Republic, you must meet certain suitability and eligibility requirements. USCIS determines who is suitable and eligible to adopt a child from another country and bring that child to live in the United States under U.S. immigration law.
Additionally, a child must meet the definition of a Convention adoptee under U.S. immigration law in order to be eligible to immigrate to the United States with an IH-3 or IH-4 immigrant visa.
In addition to being found suitable and eligible to adopt by USCIS, prospective adoptive parents (PAPs) seeking to adopt a child from the Kyrgyz Republic must meet the following requirements imposed by the Kyrgyz Republic:
Because the Kyrgyz Republic is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, children from the Kyrgyz Republic must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to be eligible for intercountry adoption. For example, the adoption may take place only if the competent authorities of the Kyrgyz Republic have determined that placement of the child within the Kyrgyz Republic has been given due consideration and that an intercountry adoption is in the child’s best interests.
In addition to qualifying as a Convention adoptee under U.S. immigration law, a child must meet the following requirements of the Kyrgyz Republic:
Caution: Prospective adoptive parents should be aware that not all children in orphanages or children’s homes are eligible for adoption. In many countries, birth parents place their child(ren) temporarily in an orphanage or children’s home due to financial or other hardship, intending that the child return home when possible. In such cases, the birth parent(s) have rarely relinquished their parental rights or consented to their child(ren)’s adoption.
Warning: Do not adopt or obtain legal custody of a child in the Kyrgyz Republic before: 1) USCIS has approved your Form I-800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country, 2) the Central Authority of the Kyrgyz Republic has determined the child is available for intercountry adoption, 3) USCIS has provisionally approved your Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative, and 4) a U.S. consular officer has issued an “Article 5/17 Letter” in the case. Read on for more information.
Kyrgyzstan’s Adoption Authority
The Ministry of Social Development
Note: Special transition provisions may apply to adoptions initiated before November 1, 2016 Read about Hague Transition Cases.
Because the Kyrgyz Republic is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adoptions from the Kyrgyz Republic must follow a specific process designed to meet the Convention’s requirements. A brief summary of the Convention adoption process is provided below. You must complete these steps in the following order to meet all necessary legal requirements. Adoptions completed out of order may result in the child not being eligible for an immigrant visa to the United States.
The process for adopting a child from Kyrgyzstan generally includes the following steps:
1. Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider Which Has Authorized by the Kyrgyz Republic's Central Authority to Operate in the Kyrgyz Republic.
The first step in adopting a child from the Kyrgyz Republic is to select an adoption service provider in the United States which has been accredited or approved to provide services to U.S. citizens in Convention cases and which has been authorized by the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic. Please refer to the list of the accredited ASPs authorized to operate in the Kyrgyz Republic. A primary provider must be identified in each Convention case and only accredited or approved adoption service providers may act as the primary provider in your case. Your primary provider is responsible for:
Learn more about Agency Accreditation
2. Apply to USCIS to be Found Suitable and Eligible to Adopt
After you choose an accredited or approved adoption service provider, you must be found suitable and eligible to adopt by USCIS by submitting Form I-800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country. You will need to submit a home study, fingerprints, and a background check as part of this application. Read more about Suitability and Eligibility Requirements.
3. Apply to the Kyrgyz Authorities to Adopt and Be Matched with a Child
Submit Your Dossier to the Central Authority
After USCIS determines that you are suitable and eligible to adopt and approves the Form I-800A application, your adoption service provider will provide your approval notice, home study, and any other required information to the MoSD in the Kyrgyz Republic as part of your adoption application. The MoSD will review your application to determine whether you are also suitable and eligible to adopt under the Kyrgyz Republic’s law.
Receive a Referral for a Child from the Central Authority
If both the United States and the Kyrgyz Republic determine that you are suitable and eligible to adopt, and the MoSD has determined that a child is eligible for adoption and that intercountry adoption is in that child’s best interests, the MoSD may provide you with a referral for a child. The referral is a proposed match between you and a specific child based on a review of your dossier and the needs of the child. MoSD in the Kyrgyz Republic will provide a background study and other information, if available, about the child to help you decide whether to accept the referral or not. We encourage families to consult with a medical professional and their adoption service provider to understand the needs of the specific child but family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs of, and provide a permanent home for, a specific child and must conform to the recommendations in the home study submitted to USCIS for the number of children and capacity to deal with any special needs of an adoptive child. Learn more about Health Considerations. If you accept the referral, the adoption service provider communicates that to the MoSD. Learn more about this critical decision.
4. Apply to USCIS for the Child to be Found Provisionally Eligible for Immigration to the United States as a Convention Adoptee and Receive U.S. Agreement to Proceed with the Adoption
Submit a Petition for a Determination on the Child’s Immigration Eligibility
After you accept a match with a particular child, you will apply to USCIS for provisional approval for the child to immigrate to the United States by filing the Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative. USCIS will make a provisional determination as to whether the child appears to meet the definition of a Convention adopteeand will likely be eligible to enter and remain in the United States.
Submit an Immigrant Visa Application
After provisional approval of Form I-800 petition, you or your adoption service provider will submit a visa application to the consular section of the U.S. Embassy in Bishkek responsible for issuing immigrant visas to children from the Kyrgyz Republic.
You should receive a letter from the National Visa Center (NVC) confirming receipt of the provisionally approved Form I-800 petition and assigning a case number and an invoice ID number. Use this information to log into the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) to file the Electronic Immigrant Visa Application (DS-260) for your child. You should fill out these forms in your prospective adoptive child's name. Answer every item on the form. If information is not applicable, please write “N/A” in the block. Please review the DS-260 FAQs, our Online Immigrant Visa Forms page, or contact the NVC at NVCAdoptions@state.gov or +1-603-334-0700 if you have questions about completing the online DS-260 form. A consular officer will review the provisionally approved Form I-800 petition and the visa application and, if applicable, advises you of options for the waiver of any ineligibilities related to the visa application.
Warning: Do not attempt to adopt of a child in the Kyrgyz Republic before you receive provisional approval of your Form I-800 petition AND a U.S. consular officer issues the “Article 5/17 Letter” for your adoption case.
Remember: The consular officer will make a final decision about a child’s eligibility for an immigrant visa later in the adoption process.
5. Adopt the Child in the Kyrgyz Republic or Obtain Legal Custody of Child for Purposes of Emigration and Adoption of the Child
The process for finalizing the adoption (or obtain legal custody) in Kyrgyzstan generally includes the following
Prospective adoptive parents are advised to obtain detailed receipts for all fees and donations paid, either directly or through your U.S. adoption service provider, and to raise any concerns regarding any payment that you believe may be contrary to the Convention, U.S. law, or the law of the Kyrgyz Republic with your adoption service provider, or, when appropriate, the Hague Complaint Registry. For more information in this regard, please refer to information concerning the Hague Complaint Registry. Improper payments may violate applicable law or create the appearance of child buying, and could put all future adoptions in the Kyrgyz Republic at risk. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, for instance, makes it unlawful to bribe foreign government officials to obtain or retain business. Further, the IAA makes certain actions relating to intercountry adoptions unlawful, and subject to civil and criminal penalties. These include to offering, giving, soliciting, or accepting inducement intended to influence or affect the relinquishment of parental rights, parental consent relating to adoption of a child, or a decision by an entity performing a central authority function or to engage another person as an agent to take any such action.
In the adoption services contract that you sign at the beginning of the adoption process, your agency will itemize the fees and estimated expenses related to your adoption process.
Note: Additional documents may be requested.
Authentication of Documents: The United States and the Kyrgyz Republic are parties to the Hague Apostille Convention. U.S. public documents may be authenticated with Apostilles by the appropriate U.S. Competent Authority. Note
Note: Prospective adoptive parent(s) may obtain legal custody of a prospective adoptive child for purposes of emigration and adoption in the United States only if the prospective adoptive child is a relative (for example, if the child is the sister or brother of the prospective adoptive parent(s)). A power of attorney for full custody for purposes of emigration and adoption of the child must be reviewed and approved by the court via the local MoSD office.
6. Apply for a U.S. Immigrant Visa for Your Child and Bring Your Child Home
Once your adoption is complete (or you have obtained legal custody of the child), you need to apply for several documents before you can apply for a U.S. immigrant visa to bring your child home to the United States:
If you have finalized the adoption in the Kyrgyz Republic, you will first need to apply for a new birth certificate for your child. Your name will be added to the new birth certificate.
If you have been granted custody for the purpose of adopting the child in the United States, the birth certificate you obtain will, in most cases, not yet include your name.
The territorial Departments of Vital Records (ZAGS) issue a new birth certificate in the child’s new name, as well as the adoption certificate and the local Social Identification Number for the child. Additional information pertaining to documentary requirements for a new birth certificate, and the location of ZAGS, is available on the State Registration Service’s website. Please note that this information is in Kyrgyz and Russian only. Your adoption service provider’s local representative can assist you to obtain your child's new birth certificate, adoption certificate, and Social Identification Number on your behalf with a Power of Attorney.
The Kyrgyz Republic Passport
Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or passport from the Kyrgyz Republic. The territorial Passport Desks under the State Registration Service will issue a passport in the new name of the child on the basis of the court adoption documents.
Additional information pertaining to documentary requirements for a Kyrgyz passport, and the location of Passport Desks, is available on the State Registration Service’s website. Please note that this information is in Kyrgyz and Russian only. Your adoption service provider’s local representative can assist you to obtain your child's passport on your behalf on the basis of Power of Attorney.
U.S. Immigrant Visa
After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child, you also need to finalize your application for a U.S. visa for your child from the U.S. Embassy in Bishkek, the Kyrgyz Republic. After the adoption or custody for purposes of emigration and adoption is granted, visit the U.S Embassy in Bishkek for a final review of the case, and if applicable, the issuance of a U.S. Hague Adoption Certificate or Hague Custody Certificate, the final approval of the Form I-800 petition, and to obtain your child’s immigrant visa. This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you and be admitted to the United States as your child. Please contact the U.S. Embassy in Bishkek by email at BishkekIV@state.gov to schedule your child’s immigrant visa appointment. As part of this process, you must provide the consular officer with the Panel Physician’s medical report on the child if you did not provide it during the provisional approval stage. Read more about the Medical Examination.
Before coming for your child’s immigrant visa interview, please be sure to complete an Electronic Immigrant Visa Application (DS-260) online at the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC). You should receive a letter from the National Visa Center (NVC) confirming receipt of the provisionally approved Form I-800 petition and assigning a case number and an invoice ID number. You will need this information to log into CEAC to file the DS-260 for your child. An adoptive parent should fill out these forms in your child's name. Answer every item on the form. If information is not applicable, please write “N/A” in the block. Print and bring the DS-260 form confirmation page to the visa interview. Please review the DS-260 FAQs, our Online Immigrant Visa Forms page, or contact the NVC at NVCAdoptions@state.gov or +1-603-334-0700 if you have questions about completing the online DS-260 form.
Please note that the U.S. Embassy in Bishkek, the Kyrgyz Republic now processes immigrant visas for non-U.S. citizens located in the Kyrgyz Republic. Additional information concerning immigrant visa processing at the U.S. Embassy in Bishkek can be found on the U.S. Embassy in Bishkek’s website.
Visa issuance after the final interview generally takes at least 24 hours (in most cases at 3:00 p.m. on the next business day). It is usually not possible to provide a visa on the same day as the immigrant visa interview. Adoptive parents should verify current processing times with the U.S. Embassy in Bishkek before making final travel arrangements.
Child Citizenship Act
For adoptions finalized abroad prior to the child’s entry into the United States: A child will acquire U.S. citizenship upon entry into the United States if the adoption was finalized prior to entry and the child otherwise meets the requirements of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.
For adoptions finalized after the child’s entry into the United States: An adoption will need to be completed following your child’s entry into the United States for the child to acquire U.S. citizenship.
*Please be aware that if your child did not qualify to become a citizen upon entry to the United States, it is very important that you take the steps necessary Complete the adoption or readoption) so that your child does qualify as soon as possible and that you apply for Certificate of Citizenship on your child's behalf. Failure to obtain citizenship for your child can impact many areas of his/her life including family travel, eligibility for education and education grants, and voting.
Read more about the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.
Applying for Your U.S. Passport
U.S. citizens are required by law to enter and depart the United States on a valid U.S. passport. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports.
Getting or renewing a passport is easy. The Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print—all in one place.
Obtaining a Visa to Travel to the Kyrgyz Republic
In addition to a U.S. passport, you may also need to obtain a visa. A visa is an official document issued by a foreign country that formally allows you to visit. Where required, visas are affixed to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation. To find information about obtaining visas for the Kyrgyz Republic, see the Department of State’s Country-Specific Information.
On November 1, 2016 the Kyrgyz Republic announced a new regulation requiring all foreign citizens traveling and living in the Kyrgyz Republic for more than five calendar days to register with the Kyrgyz State Registration Service. Additional information on this process can be found on the Department of State’s Country-Specific Information.
Staying Safe on Your Trip
Before you travel, it is always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country. The Department of State provides Country-Specific Information for every country of the world about various issues, including the health conditions, crime, unusual currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.
Staying in Touch on Your Trip
When traveling during the adoption process, we encourage you to enroll with the Department of State. Enrollment makes it possible to contact you if necessary. Whether there is a family emergency in the United States or a crisis in the Kyrgyz Republic, enrollment assists the U.S. Embassy in reaching you.
Enrollment is free and can be done online via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
Post-Adoption Reporting Requirements
The Kyrgyz Republic requires four post-adoption reports: the first is due no more than seven months after the adoption is completed, then at one, two, and three years after the adoption is completed. After three years, reports shall be submitted if and as requested. Your adoption agency should help you with these reports. These reports should be done by a social worker, notarized and translated into Russian or Kyrgyz.
We strongly urge you to comply with the Kyrgyz Republic’s post-adoption requirements in a timely manner. Your adoption agency may be able to help you with this process. Your cooperation will contribute to the Kyrgyz Republic’s history of positive experiences with U.S. citizen adoptive parents.
Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. There are many public and private nonprofit post-adoption services available for children and their families. There are also numerous adoptive family support groups and adoptee organizations active in the United States that provide a network of options for adoptees who seek out other adoptees from the same country of origin. You may wish to advantage of all the resources available to your family, whether it is another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.
Here are some places to start your support group search:
Note: Inclusion of non-U.S. government links does not imply endorsement of contents.
If you have concerns about your adoption process, we ask that you share this information with the U.S. Embassy in Bishkek, particularly if it involves possible fraud or misconduct specific to your child’s case. The Department of State takes all allegations of fraud or misconduct seriously. Our Adoption Comment Page provides several points of contact for adoptive families to comment on their adoption service provider, their experience applying for their child’s visa, or about the Form I-800 petition process.
The Hague Complaint Registry is an internet based registry for filing complaints about the compliance of U.S. accredited or approved adoption service providers with U.S. accreditation standards. If you think your provider's conduct may have been out of substantial compliance with accreditation standards, first submit your complaint in writing directly to your provider. If the complaint is not resolved through the provider's complaint process, you may file the complaint through the Hague Complaint Registry.
The Kyrgyz Republic’s Adoption Authority
The Ministry of Labor and Social Development
215 Tynystanova Str.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about filing a Form I-800A application or a Form I-800 petition:
USCIS National Benefits Center (NBC):
Tel: 1-877-424-8374 (toll free); 1-913-275-5480 (local); Fax: 1- 913-214-5808
For general questions about immigration procedures:
USCIS Contact Center
Tel: 1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)
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