Getting your Child’s Passport and Visa
One the orphanage has a copy of the written court order, they will apply for your child’s passport. India has an online tracking system for all passport applications, so you should ask the orphanage for a file number as soon as they have filed.
CARA will have to also issue a Conformity Certificate (referred to as the Article 23 letter) that you will need to get the U.S. visa. Even though official communication will happen through your agency, you should be in touch with the orphanage so you know when the passport is approved and you can start planning your travel to India.
Once you fix the dates of travel, make sure to inform your agency and the orphanage of your planned dates. The process in India is as follows:
- You will go to the orphanage and take custody of your child.
- The orphanage will provide you with the court order, adoption deed, birth certificate and any other documents such as name change that might be needed for the U.S. Visa.
- You will travel to New Delhi with your child to apply for a visa at the U.S. Embassy. As part of this process, you’ll need to schedule an appointment with a U.S. Embassy-approved doctor for your child’s exit medical examination.
- Once the visa is issued, you can travel home. The child is a U.S. Citizen at the point of entry into the U.S. if a final adoption decree was issued in India.
Below are few tips and general guidelines for various aspects of your trip to India and obtaining your child’s visa. Please check with your agency about your situation before traveling.
Travel to India/ Airline Tickets
When you receive confirmation from your orphanage and CARA that you can travel, you will need to reserve your airline tickets. You may have to get open-ended tickets, or tickets that can be changed with little or no penalty, as you will not know your departure date until your final court decree has been issued and you have secured your child’s Indian passport and visa. You also will need to purchase a return ticket for your child. The name on the ticket will be his/her name on the Indian passport. You should inquire about any adoption discounts the airline might be offering when you book your tickets.
Passports and Visas
Once you know your travel dates you can apply for a visa. Everyone traveling to India without an Indian passport or OCI card needs to obtain a visa from the Indian Embassy. You can get a visa online at Cox & Kings Global Services (outsourced from the Indian Embassy) where they will have the most updated requirements and application to apply for the visa. You can also apply for an E-visa, which allows you to submit your application online and allows visitors to be in India for 60 days max.