Are you an American citizen seeking to adopt a child who is a non-habitual resident of a Hague Convention Nation? When you’re a United States citizen conducting a foreign adoption, many administrative documents must be completed and approved by the United States government. One of those forms is the I-600.
What Is the Purpose of Form I-600?
If you are a US citizen seeking to become a legal guardian or adopt the orphaned child of a deceased relative, there are already several facts that are easily verifiable. First, there is already a chain of birth certificates between you and your deceased relative that establishes you as a blood relative of the child. So, you don’t need to be “legally classified” as a relative because US birth records already do this.
Second, when you adopt children of relatives born in the US, their birth certificate establishes them as US citizens. However, when you are seeking to adopt a foreign child who is not already a US citizen, you need to legally establish their status as your immediate relative and their right to reside in the US.
Form I-600 is also part of the process that allows you to legally classify the child you want to adopt as your legal relative. This classification is important because it also gives the child the right to enter and legally reside in the United States with you permanently.
Why do I Have to File Form I-600?
This form establishes you as the child’s legal guardian or relative. To register the school child or move them from one state to another, you must have the legal standing to do so. An approved I-600 form (along with any other paperwork required by the state or county where you and the child reside) establishes your legal guardianship and authority to act in the child’s best interest.
When do I Need to Complete Form I-600?
You can need to complete form I-600 as part of the process to adopt a foreign child who is not a resident of a Hague Convention Nation. It must be completed and approved before you can legally bring the child into your home as your relative, act as their legal guardian, or make them a resident of the United States.
What Is the Filing Fee for Form I-600?
The current filing fee for Form I-600 is $775. However, as part of the process, you must also submit a Home Study that names the other household members. Any adult household members (over 18) must also undergo, and pass, a fingerprinting process and background check.
What Government Agency Is Responsible for Approving My I-600 Form?
Although the I-600 form is needed when adopting a child from another nation, the form is not processed by the state department. You can submit your completed I-600 form to the United States Customs and Immigration (USCIS) Service National Benefits Center. This is the branch of the government that can process and review your completed I-600 form.
How Long Can It Take the Government to Process Form I-600?
Government processing times for official documents are very difficult to predict. The processing time varies depending on how many applications are being processed and how adequately staffed the agency is when your application is submitted. The important thing for you as an applicant is to complete the form correctly the first time. This can help avoid delays in processing or the rejection of the form.
Do You Need Help Completing and Filing Form I-600?
Filing this form is essential in giving an orphaned child from abroad the home they deserve. The United States immigration system can be notoriously difficult to navigate. For many people, that difficulty starts with adequately filling out forms like the I-600.
If you are having trouble with this form, or the idea of filing official forms with the US government incorrectly scares you, there are alternatives. An attorney from New Frontier Immigration Law can help you file this form and get it right the first time.
We are a family-first immigration law practice, and we understand the sense of urgency that comes with many foreign adoptions. In many cases, the child you’re looking to adopt can be much better off in the US than in their place of birth or current country of residence. So, the sooner this form is filed and approved, the sooner you can bring your adopted family member to their new home with you.
What Can New Frontier Immigration Law Do for Me?
New Frontier Immigration Law understands the bureaucratic process of foreign adoption. We have specific experience completing this form. We are happy to help you through the process. This can give you peace of mind by knowing your I-600 form was properly filled out and meets all the requirements the US government sets.