Changes that Require an Amended Home Study Report
February 3, 2011
We know that many of you have been waiting for months to reach resolution in your adoption cases. We want to remind you of a critical component to establishing eligibility for an immigrant visa on behalf of an adopted child. While expiration of the Form I-600A approval will have no impact on issuance of an immigrant visa, provided that you filed a Form I-600 petition with the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu before the Form I-600A expiration date, the underlying information in your home study must still be accurate and reflect your current situation.
During the immigrant visa interview, the consular officer must ensure that the most recent home study on file is accurate and up-to-date. If significant changes have occurred, the officer must place the immigrant visa application on hold and refer the case to USCIS. The U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu has no authority over the adjudication of a significant change or amended Form I-600A approval.
Please confirm that all of the information in your current home study is accurate. If you need to pursue an update, we strongly urge you to do so as soon as possible.
Below is information on the policy and procedures regarding the home study requirement. This information has been taken directly from www.USCIS.gov.
Orphan Home Study Guidelines
The following information is from the following USCIS webpage:
- Once a home study is submitted, it will not have to be updated unless there is a significant change (including but not limited to) residence, marital status, criminal history, financial resources, and/or the addition of one or more children, other dependents, or adult family members to the family prior to the orphan’s immigration into the United States.
The home study must include:
- A detailed description of the current living accommodations and if moving, the intended accommodations (if known).
- If the prospective parent(s) reside abroad, a description of the living accommodations where the child will reside in the United States (if known).
- An assessment of the suitability of accommodations.
- A determination of whether or not the space meets the applicable state requirements (if any).
Specific Approval of the Prospective Adoptive Parent(s) for Adoption
The home study must include:
- The home study preparer’s specific approval.
- A discussion of the reasons for approval.
- The number of orphans that may be adopted.
- If there are any specific restrictions such as nationality, age, or gender of the orphan.
- If the prospective adoptive parent(s) are approved for a handicapped or a special needs adoption.
- The original signature of the preparer/agency completing the recommendation.
If at any time there have been any significant changes prior to the child’s arrival, additional information will be requested that includes but is not limited to the following:
- The prospective adoptive parent(s) current residence.
- The prospective adoptive parent(s) marital status.
- Any criminal history or abuse regarding the prospective adoptive parent(s).
- The prospective adoptive parent(s) current financial resources.
- Any Information regarding the addition of one or more children or other dependents.
The following information is from the USCIS webpage
If a significant change occurs in your household, you must submit an amended home study that reflects the significant change to the USCIS National Benefits Center (NBC).
Significant changes include, but are not limited to, changes in the following:
- Residence of prospective adoptive parent(s)
- Marital status
- Criminal history, abuse history, or other derogatory information
- Financial resources
- Additional children, dependents, or adults residing in the household
- Characteristics of the child requested
Before approval of your Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition, or Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative:
If the significant change occurs while your Form I-600A is pending (or your Form I-600, if you did not file a separate Form I-600A), you should submit your amended home study to the NBC. Include a cover letter indicating that the amended home study is being submitted to address the change.
Remember to sign your cover letter and be sure your home study preparer signs your amended home study.
After approval of your Form I-600A or Form I-600:
If the significant change (other than a change in marital status) occurs after approval of your Form I-600A, submit the amended home study to the NBC. Include a written request for an updated approval notice. If USCIS concludes that approval of the Form I-600A remains appropriate, you will receive an updated Form I-171H or Form I-797 approval notice that reflects any changes.
If you did not submit a separate Form I-600A, submit the amended home study and written request to the NBC. Remember to sign your cover letter and be sure your home study preparer signs your amended home study.
If the significant change that occurs after approval of the Form I-600A or Form I-600 is a change in marital status, you cannot submit a request for an updated approval notice. You must instead submit a new Form I-600A, with a new filing fee, along with the amended home study. If you are married, your spouse must also sign the new Form I-600A.
Amended Home Study
When submitting an amended home study it must include:
- A copy of the previously submitted home study
- A new fully completed home study addressing the change(s)
*Addendums are not acceptable.
Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.