Wednesday, January 28, 2009

UPDATE ON I-600A Continued Renewals

Hey hey~
Just wanted to put it out there that several people (that I know of)have had some trouble getting their 3rd I-600A renewal done (the paid-for one). I called my USCIS office today (Los Angeles) because I am about to take mine in tomorrow, and she told me that she just received the new guidelines today. What others have told me is that their offices are the same.
So, what it seems is occurring is that the offices are the last to know about this.
In my case the officer was very sweet and started looking through it with me on the phone; others have not been so sweet.
We spoke with JCICS about it, and according to them, the larger the office the less-aware they may be of the changes simply because they may have heavier workloads (no time to read bulletins perhaps?) or more worker turn-over.
If your office doesn't know what you are talking about I suggest you send them the information in an email, and ask them to please check it out with the higher-ups and get back to you. The information is here: (see the * below)
Try to be calm and sweet when you speak with your office, not that anyone would be otherwise, but these encounters could make a saint swear sometimes.
Everyone who has had this little mix-up occur has been able to file, so again, please realize that if it happens to you it just means that your office hasn't been educated yet. And if the person on the phone doesn't know, it's not his/her fault, and it's probably embarrassing to hear it from outside the office first, so send over the info. and give the worker a day or two to get up to speed. :)
ALSO:
You now need to include in your renewal packet a letter, signed by you and your spouse if you're not a single, that says: I/we, the undersigned, certify, under penalty of perjury, that I/we have not filed an I600 related to this I600A. and both of you sign it.
It does not need to be notarized.
HELP WITH THESE PROBLEMS:
When problems with offices like USCIS occur, JCICS is one agency that will advocate for you. They try to represent orphans, agencies, and adoptive parents to our government.
Because times are tough all over, JCICS has had their budget reduced, and they may now lack the staff to take on as many cases as they have in the past.
Just like a union, they help people regardless of whether or not they are members (as, clearly, orphans are not able to pay for a membership).
However, you can become a member and if you become a member you are giving a gift to all adoptive parents out there who may need JCICS to help them one day like they helped us. They are directly responsible, in addition to your signatures on the petition, for all of us getting our I-600A extensions. Now they need our help, so please consider becoming a member.
Right now they are working very hard to get the Vietnamese government to re-open, something which may really be important to many of us, and getting the adoption tax-credit re-authorized. Their contact info. is in sidebar.

ANOTHER I-600A/I-800A UPDATE:
There has also been a change in the forms I-600A and I-800A parents will have to fill out after they receive their referral. Those changes are explained in the post below: http://i600a.blogspot.com/2009/01/letters-of-seeking-confirmation-what.html .
Thanks!
:)
Di

* What follows is stuff you can send to your USCIS office if it does not know about the I-600A renewal changes:
The crucial part of the USCIS press release is in paragraph 1.

http://www.uscis.gov/files/article/adoption_14oct08.pdf

“…may file one additional Form I-600A…”

The I-600A itself includes a one-time free renewal. So the filing of an I-600A would imply the inclusion of a one-time free renewal.

BELOW is the really crystal-clear evidence of this. Everyone should print and bring a copy of this document to their USCIS office when refiling:

http://www.uscis.gov/files/article/adoptionFAQ_14oct08.pdf
The most important part of this document is the example they give which clearly states that the new Form I-600A gets one extension (which is why in the example they give [below] the new form is filed February 1, 2010 and expires March 10, 2013. That’s over 36 months (ie, 18 months for the first and another 18 for the free renewal)! They can’t dispute this because it’s THEIR example…

Q: Can you give some examples of how the “grandfathering” interpretation works:
A: Yes, please see below.
𐂃 EXAMPLE: Form I-600A was approved, with the approval expiring on August 1, 2008. The
applicant requested and obtained a one-time extension, with the new approval period expiring
February 1, 2010. In January 2010, they still have not filed a Form I-600. On February 1, 2010,
they file a new Form I-600A. The “grandfathering” of the original Form I-600A will be extended
to the new Form I-600A, since it was filed before the approval of the original Form I-600A
expired.
𐂃 EXAMPLE: Form I-600A was approved, with the approval expiring on August 1, 2008. The
applicant requested and obtained a one-time extension, with the new approval period expiring
February 1, 2010. In January 2010, they still have not filed a Form I-600. On February 1, 2010,
they file a new Form I-600A. The “grandfathering” of the original Form I-600A will be extended
to include the new Form I-600A, since it was filed before the approval of the original Form I-
600A expired. The new Form I-600A is approved, with the approval (after one extension)
expiring March 10, 2013. On March 10, 2013, the applicant files yet another Form I-600A. This
third Form I-600A is not grandfathered, since, although the expiring Form I-600A was
grandfathered because the first Form I-600A was grandfathered, the expiring Form I-600A was
actually filed after April 1, 2008.

2 comments:

stephanie garcia said...

Our first I-600A is nearing expiration but we have already filed an I-600. However, the I-600 has not yet been approved because the Haitian side of our adoption has not been completed. Where does this leave us, as I understand we cannot file an extension at this point?

chad-roscoe said...

Here's your answer Stephanie. Hope this helps you.
:)
Di

Answer:
They do not need to file a new i600a or extension if they have signed the i600. The i600a (171h) only gives them approval to sign an i600. So the 171h can expire, and the i600 stays valid. This happens with most Haitian adoptions. Hopefully their agency is on top of this. They do not file an extension or new i600a if their i600 has been signed in Haiti. Most families travel to Haiti, sign the i600, and then come home and wait until the adoption is complete. The 171h expires. No big deal. The i600 has an expiration which is easily renewed by their facilitator/agency over and over again. The family does nothing; it is up to the Haitian folks who are assisting with their adoption.
So the family does not get a hs update, but should keep their fingerprints current. IF the fingerprints lapse, it is no big deal but by the time the child’s file gets to USCIS in Haiti, the fingerprints need to be current.


So, Stephanie, this is your answer to the best of our knowledge. As always, don't rely soley on us, but check with your agency and USCIS to be sure.
Good luck!