U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that on April 1, 2010, it is centralizing processing and adjudication of all new orphan (Non-Hague) petitions with the agency’s specialized adoptions team in Missouri.
Prospective adoptive parents will continue to file their Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative (Form I 600) and Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition (Form I 600A) with USCIS’ Dallas Lockbox facility. The Lockbox will forward the case to the Orphan Unit at USCIS’ National Benefit Center (NBC) for processing and adjudication. The applicant will receive a receipt notice with the NBC address and contact information for follow-up correspondence.
While this takes place behind the scenes, adoptive parents will benefit because it allows USCIS to:
- Process applications and petitions more efficiently,
- Streamline and standardize work processes, and
- Offer more consistent service.
Parents will also benefit from the specialized skills and experience of the NBC Non-Hague Adoption Unit, based on the NBC’s implementation of the USCIS Hague Adoption Convention program in 2008.
USCIS has dedicated a toll-free NBC Adoption telephone line, 1-877-424-8374 and published an Orphan Home Study Tip sheet (Form M-760) to aid adoption service providers and prospective adoptive parents.
Local USCIS field offices in the United States will continue to accept requests for extensions and change of circumstances for approved Form I-600A applications in accordance with the current filing instructions. Overseas U.S. citizens may continue to file Form I-600 at a U.S. Embassy, consulate or USCIS office abroad that has jurisdiction to accept the petition. However, in order to file a Form I-600 petition abroad, the petitioner must have an approved Form I-600A and be physically present in the adoptive child’s country.
Prospective parents who reside abroad may continue to file the Form I-600A with an overseas USCIS office or the Dallas Lockbox facility.
For more information on orphan adoptions visit: http://www.uscis.gov/adoptions.