Thursday, October 15, 2009

US Embassy in Kathmandu Not Conducting Preinvestigations

On September 29, 2009, the DOS issued an Adoption Notice for Nepal that contained the following statement:

"As part of required processing for orphan adoption cases, the Embassy conducts a thorough investigation of each case. Prospective adoptive parents should be aware that the investigation process may take several months, which could mean that prospective adoptive parents who travel to Nepal before the investigation is completed will need to spend a significant amount of time in country."

Some US adoption agencies and prospective adoptive parents interpreted this statement to mean that the Embassy would be conducting pre-investigations and completing the investigation prior to the family traveling to Nepal. PEAR contacted both the US Department of State, Office of Children's Issues and US Embassy in Nepal for clarification on the statement. According to both the Office of Children's Issues at the Department of State and the Adoption Unit at the US Embassy in Nepal, visa investigations commence after the final adoption decree and no pre-investigations are occurring at this time.

PEAR has been in continued discussions with the DOS to change the Adoption Notice to correctly reflect the process in order to avoid confusion and misinterpretation. At this point, the DOS and US Embassy are consulting on the proper wording for the Notice.

We will update with any further information as we receive it.

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

IMPORTANT UPDATE: USCIS I 600 and I 600a Processing

The USCIS sent out the following news release on October 6, 2009:

USCIS Update: Change of Filing Location for Form I-600 and I 600A

WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced a new address for prospective adoptive parents to submit Form I 600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, and Form I 600A, Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition. While the change takes affect today, applicants have a 30-day transistion period before USCIS will return incorrectly filed petitions.

Applicants were previously required to file at a local USCIS field office. The Direct Mail Program allows USCIS to process applications more efficiently by eliminating duplicative work, and maximizing staff productivity.

Beginning today, applicants in the United States, who are filing to adopt an orphan, must submit Forms I 600, I 600A, and all supporting documents and fees to the following address:

Regular Mail:

P.O. Box 299027
Lewisville, TX 75029

Express Mail and Courier Service deliveries:

ATTN: Hague
2501 S. State Hwy. 121 Business, Suite 400
Lewisville, TX 75067

USCIS will forward incorrectly-filed Forms I-600A and I-600, application fees and supporting documents to the Lewisville, Texas facility for the 30 days, until Friday November 6, 2009. Forwarded applications will be considered properly filed when received at the Lewisville, Texas facility.

Beginning Monday November 9, USCIS will return to the applicant any Form I 600 or I 600A, and supporting documents, incorrectly submitted to a USCIS office in the United States. The applicant will be instructed to mail the application to the Lewisville, Texas address. However, applicants may continue to file extensions of approved Forms I-600A at their local USCIS field office. More information is availible on the revised form instructions.

Prospective adoptive parents, who reside abroad, may continue to file the Form I-600A with a USCIS international office, or they may send the petition to the Lewisville, Texas address if they have an address in the United States they plan to return to.

U.S. citizens outside the United States may continue to file the Form I-600 at a U.S. Embassy, U.S. Consulate or USCIS office abroad that has jurisdiction to accept the petition. However, in order to file a Form I-600 petition abroad, the petitioner must have an approved Form I-600A and be physically present in the country where they are filing.

The I-600A and I-600 form instructions have been updated to reflect the new filing locations. They are be available under the "Forms" section. The forms are also available by calling the National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283.

For more information on USCIS and its programs, visit

Tiny URL:

PEAR has contacted USCIS to confirm the address for Express Mail and Courier Service Deliveries being labeled "ATTN: Hague". We will update when we receive an answer.

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.