What the heck is a I-600A?

By November 10, 2012 Adoption 2 Comments

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Warning: You will become a mailman stalker waiting for your I-600A form to arrive from USCIS.  It’s the luck of the draw on the timing of these little buggers.  The poor mailman has nothing to do with how fast or slow it is delivered to your mailbox!  You will need to contain yourself when you hear the familiar sounds of the truck approaching your home.  We don’t want you to earn the reputation of crazy mail chasing mom-to-be.  Personally, I was like a tail wagging, foaming at the mouth, crazed eyed puppy, waiting at the door for my I-600A to come.  It wasn’t pretty.

When you receive your I-600A in the mail…. celebrate!  This really is a big deal.  For us, it meant our dossier was complete and the wait for Zoie was really on.  I will never forget the day it finally came in the mail, 3.5 months after submitting our forms to MO USCIS.  I was so overjoyed, I called Roger and told him we were going out to party hard with burgers and shakes!  I announced to the waitress and humiliated my kids simultaneously, that I was now officially pregnant and due hopefully in less than 12 months.

I received this hilarious letter from an adoption newbie… I-600A form. What the heck? I still don’t think I have an understanding for when I am supposed to send this thing in or when we get our fingerprints, etc.  It might be helpful to step us through that.  I do know that there are new mailing instructions as of 10/09 – once we have our I-600A and whatever documents go with it, it gets mailed to a ‘central lock-box’ in TX.  Then at some point we’ll get a receipt that it was received, and once processed I think we get a fingerprint card.  I don’t know about fingerprint appts or anything like that. (Thanks Jamey!)

OK, what the heck is this thing? Here is the official adoption definition:

Form I-600 and Form I-600A Visa Petitions: A set of forms used to officially request permission from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) to classify a child in a foreign country, who fits the definition of an “orphan,” as an immediate relative of its intended adoptive parents, so that there can be an expedited processing and issuance of a visa to that child, allowing the child to be brought into the United States, either after having been adopted abroad, or in order for child to be adopted in the United States.  Find more information on Form I-600 and Form I-600A Visa Petitions
STOP RIGHT THERE:  Every adoption agency does things different, and every USCIS in every state does things different. You must contact your adoption agency to determine which CIS application form you will need to file and their particular guidelines.  Jamey and other newbies, don’t worry about the I-600A form, when the time comes, your coordinator or social worker should hold your hand and walk you through each step before you start. Don’t attempt to do the form on your own without their guidance.  USCIS is famous for changing rules and forms…. my advice, double check everything with your agency.  Mistakes can be costly and lengthy.  Believe me, you don’t want the craziness of messing up on this VIP form. Ask for help!
**note from a family adopting from India… Oh, I totally wanted to ring on like on jeopardy with the answer when I saw your title! However, I must confess that I’ve met the i600a/i600’s evil cousin – the i800a/i800. Girl, it is a beast! Think mini-dossier stacks of paper. Why, oh why, India must you torture this mama?)

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