Every applicant adopting from a non-Hague country must file form I-600a to obtain permission from US immigration to adopt internationally. This form, not to be confused with the I-600, is the application for YOU to get approval to adopt any orphaned child that meets the criteria approved for in your homestudy. It is not child specific. At some point in your adoption, usually at the end (but it is program specific), you will file the I-600a's companion form, the I-600. The I-600 IS child-specific and prompts the US government to launch the orphan investigation to ensure that the child meets orphan status according to the U.S. definition of an orphan.
Download the I-600a - Click Here
If the above link does not work, please visit www.uscis.gov and click on Immigration Forms in the top menu. The forms will be ordered by their form number.
This form is used by a U.S. citizen who plans to adopt a foreign-born orphan but does not have a specific child in mind.
Electronic confirmation of receipt: USCIS now offers electronic confirmation that they have received your documents. Simply fill out this form (USCIS form G-1145), print it and submit it with your I-600a and supporting documents.
Some tips for filling out the I-600a:
Block I: The person who makes the most money in the household, assuming this person is a U.S. citizen, should be listed on item 1. The spouse would then be listed on item 9.
Block II: This page is filled out differently depending on the country from which you are adopting. Please contact your program coordinator or the CCI office before completing the application.
Block III: This should be filled in. If the petitioner has no disabilities (or none that need accommodations), answer no on item 19-1. If the petitioner's spouse (if any) has no disabilities, answer no on number 19-2. If you have household members who do not have disabilities, answer no.
When filing, please also file this release of information: Release of Information
When you submit your I-600a, you also will send in the following items:
What to Expect:
When you send in your I-600a, you will receive a receipt in the mail. The receipt looks like this. Be sure to retain this receipt as you will need your receipt number when calling the National Benefit Center (USCIS's processing entity).
Next (approximately 2-3 weeks later), you will receive a fingerprint notice in the mail. It will tell you what day your appointment is and the location of the nearest USCIS fingerprint office. Notice: The nearest office may not be what one would consider "near" but it is the one you must utilize for your fingerprints. Notice: If you have adult household members, their fingerprint appointment date will likely not be the same date as yours. In fact, it will be several days after you receive your appointment notice that you receive any adult household members' notices. However, most (but not all) fingerprinting locations will go ahead and do the fingerprints of your household members on the same day as yours as long as they bring their appointment notice with them. Unfortunately, there is not a means of determining if your office will do this, but it may be worth trying to expedite the processing of your I-600a.
Once your fingerprints have been taken by USCIS, you will receive one of two things (generally 2-4 weeks after the fingerprinting):
See your country's client area for more information about what to do with your approval as this varies per country.