Friday, November 13, 2009

Should You Update Your HS?

There are good and not-so-good parts to the adoption online community. There is just a wealth of free, kind, fast information to be had.... Good! There is also a wealth of opinions, less good, especially when people give opinions about things that are not opinion-based, but rather are factual.
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:
  1. You have had a major life change (address, children added, job loss, etc.)
  2. 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:

Full URL:

Tiny URL:

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) :

Tiny URL:

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 :)




Claire said...


Thanks for the informative site! Question: As of now (2010) can you still file the I-600A before the HS is complete and supplement later in order to expedite the biometrics? Will they forward the application to the local USCIS office even if it is not complete (i.e. without the HS??

Thanks, Claire

chad-roscoe said...

My understanding is that this no longer work to extend your expiration of the I-171H. Now, whether or not you can hand it in later I am not sure. I would call your local USCIS and ask them to be sure you don't lose your I600A status. I just got home from my adoption trip and the Hague children were forced to get vaccinations in China that my child was not. Another good reason to stay I600A/I-171H