Palau and the Hague Convention


Palau is not party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Intercountry adoptions of children from non-Hague countries are processed in accordance with 8 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 204.3 as it relates to orphans as defined under the Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 101(b)(1)(F).

Although the “Compact of Free Association” between Palau and the United States permits Palauan citizens to travel to the United States for some temporary purposes without a U.S. visa, this provision is NOT applicable to adopted children who will reside permanently with American families in the United States. Prospective adoptive parents of Palauan children must go through the appropriate Palauan adoption procedures as well as the relevant U.S. immigration procedures. Adopted Palauan children who enter the United States without a visa will later have difficulties adjusting their U.S. immigration status and, eventually, acquiring U.S. citizenship.


To bring an adopted child to the United States from Palau, you must meet eligibility and suitability requirements. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determines who can adopt under U.S. immigration law.

Additionally, a child must meet the definition of orphan under U.S. immigration law in order to be eligible to immigrate to the United States on an IR-3 or IR-4 immigrant visa.

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