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Written by Nancy S
on April 22, 2016

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So you are adopting internationally and have completed your home study investigation report.  You are now ready to file your I-800A or I-600A with the USCIS depending upon whether you are adopting from a Convention or Non-Convention country.  Some placement agencies (Primary Provider) will help you prepare this necessary paperwork and with others this will be your responsibility. First you have to understand that when working with a foreign government duplication and redundancy in paperwork is going to be a fact and accepting this will make the process less of a hassle. What is needed for the I-800A/I-600A process and how long does it take? Here is an overview of the process:

  

I-800A (Convention Country)

I-600A (Non-Convention Country)

Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country

Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition

 

To receive approval of your CIS petition for pre-approval, your I-800A or I-600A application must be accompanied by the following paperwork (copies only; do not send original documents): 
  • Proof that you are a U.S. Citizen - (i.e. birth certificate, U.S. passport, Consular officer certified statement, Certificate of Naturalization, Certificate of Citizenship, or FS-240)
  • If your spouse is not a U.S. Citizen – Proof of lawful status (i.e. Permanent Resident Card, Arrival/Departure Document, valid passport, or U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued document)
  • Proof of Martial Status - Marriage certificate and proof of termination of all prior marriages (i.e. divorce decree, annulment decree, death certificate)
  • Notarized home study report with copies of the agency’s license, social worker’s license and Hague Accreditation Certificate attached (original required)
  • Certified copies of the dispositions of criminal charges or convictions, if applicable, must be sent with the home study report.  You should also include a notarized letter containing your personal description and explanation of any charges or convictions. 
  • Fingerprints for FBI clearance (CIS will schedule an appointment for fingerprints after the submission of the I-800A or I-600A)

 

Also include payment for the following fees:
Effective November 23, 2010, your I-800A or I-600A application to Citizenship and Immigration Services Office must be accompanied by a money order or certified check for the application fee of $720 plus $85 for FBI fingerprints for each adult in the home (all persons 18 years or older).  Thus the total cost of the application and fingerprints for a couple is $890 and for a single person is $805.  Please know that Citizenship and Immigration Service can change these fees.  Prior to submitting your I-800A or I-600A it is highly recommended that you confirm the current fees by visiting www.uscis.gov.

 

A Special Note Regarding Petition:  It does not matter which spouse is the petitioner on the I-800A or I-600A unless 1) only one spouse intends to travel; the traveler must be the petitioner or 2) if one spouse is not a citizen; the citizen must be the petitioner.

 

What happens after you submit your I-800A or I-600A?

 

2 weeks after filing your I-800A or I-600A application you will get a receipt showing that your application has been accepted by USCIS.  E-Notification:  If you want to receive an e-mail and/or text message that your Form I-800A or I-600A has been accepted at a USCIS Lockbox facility, complete Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance and clip it to the first page of your application.  G-1145 can be downloaded through the following link: www.uscis/sites/default/files/form/g-1145.pdf

 

4 to 6 weeks after filing your application you will receive notice of an appointment to get your fingerprinting done for USCIS.

 

Approximately 75 days after filing you will receive notice from Citizenship and Immigration Services Office as to approval of your application.  If you have been approved you will receive a “Notice of Favorable Determination Concerning Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition”.  This approval provides you with permission to adopt a foreign born orphan and immigrate the child to into the United States. 

 

Things that may happen:  In some cases there may be missing information in the home study or in the documents that you submitted with your application.  If this happens you will receive a “Request for Evidence” letter and there will be specific information that will need to be submitted.  The letter will clearly state what needs to be done to correct the situation and when it has to be done by. In some cases there can also be a “Notice of Intent to Deny” letter when there are major problems and complications with your application and supporting documents.  This letter will also tell you clearly what the issues are and if there is a method of correcting it.

 

Once you receive your “Notice of Favorable Determination Concerning Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition” either Form I-171H (I600A process), or “Notice of Action”, Form I-797 (I800A process).This approval provides you with permission to adopt a foreign born orphan and immigrate the child to into the United States.  Your I-800A approval is valid for 15 months from the date of completion of advance processing.  Your I-600A approval is valid for 18 months from the date of completion of advance processing.  You need the CIS approval for all international dossiers.  Most international adoption placement agencies and countries require a CIS approval to be submitted with the dossier (foreign adoption application). 

 

Look for the next blog for a discussion of the dossier process and how to complete it.

 

Family Connections is a New York State authorized child placing agency that has achieved Hague Accreditation through the Council on Accreditation.  Family Connections provide home study, post placement/post adoption supervision and adoption services.  If you are interested in learning more about your adoption options you can contact Renee or Anita at 607-756-6574 or 1-800-535-5556 or by clicking on the link below.

 

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