Please give them a vote. It only takes a minute. First you have to become a fan of Chase, then you have to go back and vote. If you don't see your photo on the page, you haven't voted. It's tricky, but free! And you will help a lot of orphans. At this Tiny-Tim-time-of year, we all want to do that.
Friday, November 13, 2009
This week there is a lot of talk about if you need to update your HS when it's past its expiration date but your I-171H is still valid. The answer is NO.
The answer is no, ad it doesn't matter if other people say, "Oooo, I would do it if I were you!"
Updating your HS is no small thing. It takes considerable time, record gathering, and money.
The truth is that once USCIS has approved your HS it stays approved. The only reasons it would need to be redone (even if it is "expired") would be:
- You have had a major life change (address, children added, job loss, etc.)
- Your I-171H has expired.
You'll notice that HS is expired is not on that list.
Now, there is one state that does things differently, and I think it is Illinois or Maryland, but I am not sure, so check with your local USCIS office for the official word.
However, you can also find the official word here:
If you are still uncertain:
#1. Call your local USCIS
#2. Demand that your agency do their job and find out for you.
#3 read this on USCIS' website:
Validity of the Home Study
1. The home study must be submitted within one year of the filing date of the I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition.
2. The home study, or most recent update to the home study, must not be more than 6 months old at the time it is submitted to USCIS.
3. If an update is submitted, a full copy of the original home study must accompany the update.
4. 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 or other dependents to the family prior to the orphan's immigration into the United States.
Full URL (May need to copy and paste) :
IF YOUR AGENCY is telling you to do this, or your SW, ask WHY? And make them show you something in writing that says you need to do it.
Sometimes you have to go hunt down the facts for yourself.
Save your money, the headache, and your time :)
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Who May Enter?
The photo contest is open to all persons interested in child welfare issues related to finding children safe, loving, and permanent homes. Examples of some persons who may want to enter the contest are parents or employees of Child Welfare Organizations.
You have until the last minute of December to enter and win!
Here are all the details: http://www.jcics.org/photocontest.htm
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Looks like they have changed things again.
Here's the Tiny URL address: http://tinyurl.com/NewUSCISOFFICEAGAIN
and here is the full URL:
And here is the Joint Council memo:
Following please find updated information regarding USCIS filing procedures. This information is published through the efforts of the Hague Working Group of which Joint Council is a member. We extend our appreciation to Bill Rosen of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys and Stephanie D’Amico of La Vida International for their leadership in crafting the following. We hope you find this update informative and useful.
UPDATE: USCIS Filing Procedures
USCIS has recently made some changes to filing procedures affecting applications for adoption-based immigrant approvals (Forms I-600A, I-600, I-800A, I-800). Two separate procedures have been changed or established:
a) a new lockbox has been established in Lewisville Texas for the filing of I-600A & I-600 Forms;
and b) the previous lockbox facility in Chicago, Illinois that was established for the filing of I-800A & I-800 Forms has now been changed to a new lockbox also in Lewisville Texas.
You will note that the 2 lockboxes in Lewisville are not the same for Hague vs. non-Hague cases.
In a typical international adoption, the filing of the immigration forms generally involves more than just one initial application, rather multiple filings over the course of the entire adoption. As such, the lockbox facility is used for certain, but not all filings.
USCIS has published instructions for the filing of forms and it has also issued a public announcement; and both are available on the USCIS web site at http://www.uscis.gov/ under the topics of “adoption” and/or “forms”.
However, since adoption cases are often complicated and involve multiple filings over time, we are providing some general pointers that hopefully can guide you appropriately. We hope that this information is helpful to you and provides a better understanding for the circumstances that you frequently encounter.
Disclaimer: The following information does not represent an official notice from the USCIS. The information is not guaranteed to be fully accurate, is subject to change and/or not a complete portrayal of every specific filing associated with an international adoption case.
For purposes of presentation, we have initially organized the information by Hague vs. Non-Hague cases; and then further organized by the location of the filing. At the end of the information, the mailing locations for both lockbox facilities are also provided.
I. Non-Hague cases (I-600A and I-600)
A. I-600A filings required to be sent to the Lockbox
1. The initial I-600A application along with payment of fee and supporting documentation;
B. I-600A filings required to be sent to the USCIS Field Office
1. Where the initial I-600A application has previously been sent without a home study and the home study is being filed to supplement the I-600A application within 12 months of the date of initial filing;
2. Request For Evidence (RFE) requests associated with an I-600A application;
3. Where a family’s circumstances change and additional information is required to amend a current approved I-600A (which is usually in the form of an updated or amended home study);
4. Where a family requests a change to the country they are approved to adopt from (either with payment of a fee or where a fee is not required) and additional information is required to amend a current approved I-600A;
5. Applications that are timely filed to extend the existing I-600A approval (either with payment of a fee or where a fee is not required);
6. All grandfathering requests and associated filings (with or without payment of a fee);
C. General Summary of I-600A Filing Procedures
a. Only the initial I-600A application is sent to the Texas lockbox; all subsequent filings (including RFE’s, changes in circumstances, changes in countries, extensions), whether the subsequent filing includes payment of a fee or not, are filed with the regional USCIS office responsible for adjudicating the case.
D. I-600 filings required to be sent to the Lockbox
1. I-600 forms requiring payment of a fee (where an I-600A has not been filed and approved); unless the family is residing abroad (in which case, an option exists and is described below);
E. I-600 filings allowed to be sent to optional locations
1. I-600 forms requiring payment of a fee where the family is residing abroad may either be filed with the lockbox in TX or with the appropriate U.S. Embassy, U.S. Consulate, or USCIS office abroad that has jurisdiction to accept the petitions from the Potential Adoptive Parent(s) based on their current residence;
2. I-600 forms not requiring payment of a fee may either be filed with the lockbox in TX or with the appropriate U.S. Embassy, U.S. Consulate, or USCIS office abroad that has jurisdiction to accept the petitions as long as the Potential Adoptive Parent(s) have an approved I-600A and are physically present in the country where they are filing;
II. Hague Cases (I-800A and I-800)
A. I-800A filings required to be sent to the Lockbox
1. The initial I-800A application along with payment of fee and supporting documentation;
(Dianne's note: I don't see any #2 here. Original goes from #1-#3, skipping #2)
3. Where a family’s circumstances change and additional information is required (which is usually in the form of an updated or amended home study), or if a family decides to change the country they are approved to adopt from, then a Supplement 3 is submitted along with a fee of $340;
4. Applications that are timely filed to extend the current I-800A approval are also filed using a Supplement 3. The first extension is allowed without any fee, and all subsequent extensions require a fee. With or without fee, all Supplement 3 requests are sent to the lockbox;
B. I-800A filings required to be sent directly to the NBC
a. RFE requests associated with an I-800A application;
C. General summary of I-800A filing procedures
a. The initial I-800A application and all subsequent Supplement 3 forms (including changes in circumstances, changes in countries, extensions - whether the subsequent filing includes payment of a fee or not) are sent to the Texas lockbox. Only RFE requests are sent directly to the NBC.
D. I-800 filings required to be sent to the lockbox
1. All I-800 filings are made to the Texas lockbox.
III. Lockbox information
A. I-600A and I-600 Addresses
P.O. Box 299027
Lewisville, TX 75029
Express Mail and Courier
2501 S. State Hwy. 121 Business, Suite 400
Lewisville, TX 75067
B. I-800A and I-800 Addresses
P.O. Box 299008
Lewisville, TX 75029
Express Mail and Courier
2501 S. State Hwy. 121 Business, Suite 400
Lewisville, TX 75067
Looks like they gave us exactly one month's notice.
This part sounds like you can still take your renewals to your local office: "However, applicants may continue to file extensions of approved Forms I-600A at their local USCIS field office. More information is available on the revised form instructions."
I think those are being processed locally.
People starting new adoptions with non-Hague countries are still allowed to use the I600A, so I guess that is what the local offices will do in addition to processing renewals. (But I'm not sure!)
So, you may want to check that with a call first.
Hang in there and hang tough parents-2B!
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Joint Council UpdateProgram International Relations Initiative
Date October 29, 2009
Regarding China - CCAA
Joint Council has learned that after 8-years as Director General of the ChinaCenter of Adoption Affairs (CCAA), Mr. Lu Ying has been appointed to a positionwithin the Ministry of Social Affairs.
Joint Council extends its considerableappreciation to Director General Lu for his years of dedicated service to thechildren of China and his leadership in ensuring that Chinese orphans live in apermanent family.
Please join us in wishing Director General Lu much goodfortune in his new position and the best that life has to offer.
A new Director General will soon take on the responsibilities of leading theCCAA. As more info rmation becomes available, we will publish it as appropriate.
At this time, no significant policy changes are expected from theCCAA.
Joint Council again thanks Director General Lu for his continued commitment to children and families.
Posted with permission by Joint Council
(Being first to have the "scoop," just another reason they are so important to us all! Join them on Facebook or at http://www.jcics.org/bta%20about%201.htm so you can get the updates too!)