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USCIS Centralizes Processing of Orphan Adoptions Change will Streamline Processing

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: