Wednesday, May 16, 2012

We have our I-800 Approval!

After our paperwork was sent off to USCIS (immigration), we found out we had a receipt date of 4-26-12.  I called on Friday, May 11th to check in with our officer assigned to us because families who were a 1-3 days ahead of us had gotten their approvals last week.  She said it was on her desk and that there were 5 or 6 families in front of us, so she'd probably get to it on Monday or Tuesday.   It looks like she approved it that day though based on the approval we got today- it says we had approval on 5-11-12 and we just got it today...seems to take forever for us to get immigration documents in the mail.   What a nice lady to do that for us! :)  

So now, for those of you who haven't adopted from China before- you are problem saying, "What happens next?"   Well because this is a very foreign part to me- I feel clueless really....I will just post what this amazing resource of a website says happens next and follow their directions closely! :)

Once you know that your application has been approved, you are ready to move on to the National Visa Center!

  • After approving your file, your officer will mail your approval to the National Visa Center by 2nd Day UPS Air. However, the approval isn't always mailed out the same day it's approved, so applications can take up seven days to arrive at NVC. Upon receiving your approval, the National Visa Center (NVC) will enter your information into their computer system.

  • Within 1-3 business days, the NVC will "cable" (basically emailing/sending electronically) your file to the US Embassy in Guangzhou, China. This is approval of your visa petition.

  • Upon doing this, the NVC will then mail you a letter stating that your petition has been forwarded to the Embassy. Your agency needs this NVC letter in order to proceed with your adoption! Unfortunately, this letter can take up to a few weeks to arrive in the mail. So instead, ask the NVC to email you the letter as a .pdf attachment.

  • After you have received I-800 Approvaland have been cabled (and gotten the NVC letter),it's time for your Article 5 letter to be issued by the US Embassy. This is a step that you don't have to really DO anything about, but it is helpful to know what is going on.
    Once you have emailed your NVC letterto your agency, they will forward it to their in-China representative.
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    The in-China rep will take the NVC letter to the US Embassy in Guangzhou along with your DS-230 application and Parental LOA. The US Embassy only allows representatives to drop off the paperwork on certain days.
    UPDATE: Effective February 28th, 2011, pickup days will changed. Article 5s will now be picked up and dropped off on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday!!! This is GREAT news for families!!! Monday will no longer be a pickup/drop off day.
    Why is my paperwork going to the consulate?
    The consulate needs to review your new child's visa application (the DS-230), make sure it meets the qualifications for an immigrant visa, and then signs off that everything is in order for the adoption to be completed. This is called the Article 5 letter. You cannot obtain custody of your child until the Article 5 letter is issued!
    The consulate takes a standard two weeks to complete this process. If your paperwork is dropped off on a Monday, it will be picked up from the consulate by your agency rep two Mondays later.
    Once it's picked up from the consulate, it will be delivered directly to the CCAA for Travel Approval!

    And once you have Travel Approval (TA) you usually leave 2-3 weeks later, depending on when your consulate appointment is at the US Embassy in Guangzhou, China.

    There it is in a nutshell -- it is all going to happen quickly and be here before we know it, but it seems complicated having never gone through it before.

    Another step down and one big step closer to Lena!  :)