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Form I-600a2024-01-11T09:00:26+00:00

Form I-600A Process: Understanding Pre-Adoption Immigration Steps

Form I-600A, officially known as the Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition, is an essential document for U.S. citizens who are preparing to adopt a child from another country. This form is used to determine the eligibility of the prospective adoptive parents before an adoptive child has been identified. It allows individuals to be pre-approved for adoption based on their ability to provide a proper home environment and their suitability to adopt a foreign-born child. The pre-approval provided by Form I-600A simplifies the process once a child has been identified for adoption.

The applicants must meet specific eligibility requirements, one of which is being a U.S. citizen.

The form requires detailed information about the prospective adoptive parents and, if applicable, their spouse. This information is critical as it helps the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) ensure that the welfare of the adopted child will be taken into consideration. The process involves a thorough assessment of the provided details, including biographic data and background checks.

The processing of Form I-600A also includes a fee structure, which typically encompasses a filing fee alongside the biometric services fee for each adult member of the household. However, in certain situations, some supplements to the form may not require additional fees. The USCIS clearly outlines the costs involved, as well as any necessary documentation that must accompany the form submission. Applicants residing abroad are given specific instructions regarding the biometric services fee and are contacted directly by USCIS with details on payment and processing.

Overview of Form I-600A

Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition, is a critical step for U.S. citizens considering the adoption of a child from a country not party to the Hague Adoption Convention. It assesses the suitability and eligibility of the applicants to become adoptive parents.

Purpose of Form I-600A

The primary purpose of Form I-600A is to facilitate the process for U.S. citizens to adopt orphans from non-Hague Convention countries. This form is used to request that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determine their suitability and eligibility as prospective adoptive parents before identifying a specific child for adoption.

Applicability and Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility to file Form I-600A is reserved for U.S. citizens who intend to adopt children from nations not in compliance with the Hague Adoption Convention. Applicants must demonstrate their ability to provide a proper home environment and must meet other qualifying criteria set forth by immigration laws.

  • Applicability: For U.S. citizens adopting from non-Hague countries
  • Eligibility Requirements:
    • Citizenship: Must be a U.S. citizen
    • Home Study: Must have a completed and favorable home study
    • Suitability: Must be deemed suitable and eligible to adopt by USCIS

Filing Process

When filing Form I-600A, applicants must accurately compile the required documentation and adhere to specific submission guidelines to ensure their application is processed efficiently.

Required Documentation

Prospective adoptive parents need to provide evidence of their U.S. citizenship, such as a photocopy of a passport or birth certificate. They must also include documentation proving their marital status if applicable, and financial records to illustrate sufficient means to support the adoptive child.

  • Proof of U.S. citizenship
  • Evidence of marital status
  • Financial records

Submission Guidelines

Form I-600A should be submitted to the appropriate USCIS office, accompanied by the correct filing fee. It is crucial to use black ink for typed or hand-written submissions and ensure that all fields are completed accurately. Applicants may file even if they have not yet identified a child for adoption.

  • Submit to the designated USCIS office
  • Include the correct filing fee
  • Use black ink and complete all fields
  • Filing is permissible without a specific child identified

Fees and Payment Information

When filing Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition, applicants are required to pay a specific fee. It’s important for applicants to understand the fee amount and the acceptable methods of payment.

Fee Structure

The fee for filing Form I-600A is a set amount by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Applicants must pay this fee at the time of filing:

  • Fee for Form I-600A: $775

USCIS may update the fee schedule, so applicants should check the official USCIS website or contact USCIS directly for the most current fee information.

Payment Methods and Receipts

USCIS accepts different methods of payment, including:

  • Personal checks
  • Cashier’s checks
  • Money orders
  • Credit cards (using Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions)

All payments must be made payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Applicants should write their name and address on the check or money order and note that it is for the I-600A application fee.

For payments made by check, USCIS will provide a receipt that includes a unique identification number to track the payment and application status. When paying by credit card, applicants will receive a notification of the payment on their credit card statement, along with a receipt notice from USCIS.

Processing Times and Validity

When submitting Form I-600A, one needs to be aware of the processing times and the validity period associated with the approval of this petition.

Estimated Processing Times

To check the estimated processing times for Form I-600A, applicants should refer to the official USCIS website. Processing times vary based on the USCIS office handling the case. An applicant can find specifics by selecting the form on the USCIS ‘Processing Times’ page and looking for the office that corresponds to the receipt notice.

Validity Period of Approval

Once Form I-600A is approved, the suitability determination as potential adoptive parents is valid for 15 months from the date of approval. If an adoptive child has not been identified within this period, applicants must seek an extension of their approval before it expires to ensure the continuation of the adoption process without delay.

Post-Approval Procedures

After an applicant’s Form I-600A has been approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), they should prepare for the subsequent stages of the adoption process which involve coordination of travel and immigration details.

Post-Approval Steps

Following approval, the prospective adoptive parent(s) will receive a notice from USCIS regarding the approval of their Form I-600A. They must then:

  • Wait for a child to be matched (if they haven’t identified a child prior to approval).
  • Obtain a referral for a child: The referral should include important information about the child’s background.
  • Accept the referral: Upon accepting, they may begin the process to formally adopt the child.
  • File Form I-600: This petition classifies the orphan as an immediate relative, enabling them to immigrate to the United States.

Prospective parents should keep in mind that the validity of the I-600A approval typically lasts for 15-18 months, during which they should complete these steps.

Travel Coordination and Immigration

Once the Form I-600 is filed and approved, the focus shifts to:

  • Travel Planning: This involves organizing the trip to the child’s country if required to finalize the adoption process or to meet the child.
  • Immigrant Visa Process: Prospective parents will need to:
    • File a visa application for the child.
    • Arrange for the child’s medical examination by an approved physician.
    • Attend a visa interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
  • Visa Issuance: After approval, a visa will be issued for the child, enabling their entry into the United States.

The child’s immigrant visa classification will depend on the completion of all legal requirements concerning adoption according to the laws of both the United States and the child’s country of residence.

Extensions and Amendments

Prospective adoptive parents using Form I-600A may find themselves in situations where they need to extend the validity of their application or make amendments. This section details the processes for requesting an extension and for amending an approved Form I-600A.

Requesting an Extension

To maintain eligibility for adoption, applicants must ensure that their Form I-600A does not expire. An extension can be requested if the initial approval nears its end. Key steps to request an extension include:

  1. Submitting the extension request before the current approval expires.
  2. Providing any updated information or documents that may be required.

Amending an Approved Form I-600A

After an initial approval, certain changes may necessitate an amendment to Form I-600A. These could include, but are not limited to, changes in marital status or a change in the country from which the applicant intends to adopt. Here is how to proceed:

  • Applicants must notify USCIS of the significant change as soon as possible.
  • A new home study reflecting the change may be required.

Legal Considerations

This portion of the article highlights the legal framework surrounding Form I-600A, illuminating its significance in the adoption process and the obligations it imposes on prospective adoptive parents.

Legal Implications of Form I-600A

Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition, is a critical document that establishes the prospective adoptive parents’ eligibility to adopt an orphan from countries not part of the Hague Adoption Convention. It precedes the actual adoption process, ensuring that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reviews and approves the applicants to be suitable adoptive parents. Completing this form does not automatically finalize the adoption but signifies preliminary approval to adopt from a non-Hague country.

Responsibilities and Rights

When filing Form I-600A, applicants are undertaking a significant responsibility. They must provide comprehensive documentation that demonstrates their ability to provide a suitable home environment and proves that they have no history of harmful behavior that could jeopardize the welfare of a child. In doing so, prospective adoptive parents acquire the right to advance in the adoption process with an approved form. However, they must remain aware that:

  • The approval is contingent upon USCIS standards for family stability and financial capacity.
  • The decision by USCIS does not guarantee that the eventual adoption application, formalized through Form I-600, will be successful.

Prospective parents should seek legal counsel throughout this process to ensure adherence to relevant U.S. and international laws.

Contact Information and Assistance

Navigating the process for the Form I-600A can be complex, but the USCIS offers clear channels of communication and resources for prospective adoptive parents. They will find direct contact information and additional legal resources readily available to assist them throughout the process.

USCIS Contact Information

Prospective adoptive parents can contact the USCIS for assistance related to Form I-600A through several methods:

  • Phone: For inquiries, individuals can call the USCIS Contact Center at 1-800-375-5283. Assistance is available in both English and Spanish.
  • TTY: For the deaf or hard of hearing, a TTY line is accessible at 1-800-767-1833.

Legal Assistance and Resources

Adoptive parents seeking guidance on completing Form I-600A have access to various legal resources:

  • USCIS Website: The official USCIS website hosts the form and the accompanying instructions which can be an essential resource for understanding the process.
  • Legal Counsel: It is advisable to consult with legal representatives or adoption agencies that specialise in international adoptions to ensure the process is handled accurately and lawfully.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is Form I-600A?2024-01-03T06:31:59+00:00

Form I-600A, also known as the Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition, is utilized by U.S. citizens who intend to adopt a foreign-born child. It allows U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to assess the suitability and eligibility of the applicants as prospective adoptive parents in advance, even if they have not yet identified a specific child for adoption.

Q: Who can file Form I-600A?2024-01-03T06:32:35+00:00

Individuals eligible to file Form I-600A are U.S. citizens planning to adopt, or who have adopted a child from a country that is not a party to the Hague Adoption Convention.

Q: When is the right time to file Form I-600A?2024-01-03T06:33:13+00:00

Applicants should file Form I-600A before they identify a specific child to adopt. This allows for the provisional approval of their suitability as adoptive parents, which can streamline the process once a child is identified.

Q: What countries does Form I-600A apply to?2024-01-03T06:33:53+00:00

This form is specifically for adoptions from countries not participating in the Hague Adoption Convention, such as China or Guatemala, at the time of issuing the announcement by USCIS.

Q: Can you file Form I-600A if you have a specific child in mind for adoption?2024-01-03T06:34:26+00:00

Yes, you may file even if you do not have a specific child identified for adoption. However, the form is part of the process to approve prospective adoptive parents prior to identifying a child.

Q: Why did USCIS issue recent announcements about Form I-600A?2024-01-03T06:35:03+00:00

USCIS updates and announcements are typically issued to clarify or inform about changes in the application process, to highlight time-sensitive information or to address frequently asked questions by adoptive parents.

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