Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition

I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition

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Last updated: April 4, 2024.

What is Form I-600A?

Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition, is an immigration form used by U.S. citizens who plan to adopt or have adopted a child from a foreign country that is not a party to the Hague Adoption Convention. 

Information provided on Form I-600A is used to determine whether the petitioner and petitioner’s spouse (if married) are suitable and eligible to adopt a foreign born child.

Adoptive parents must also file Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, with USCIS. 

Who can file Form I-600A?

To file Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You are a U.S. citizen
  • If you are married, your spouse does not have to be a U.S. citizen. Your spouse must be living in the U.S. lawfully as a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, green card holder or in another lawful immigration status
  • If you are unmarried, you must be at least 24 years of age to file Form I-600A and at least 25 years of age to file Form I-600
  • You plan to adopt or have adopted a child from a country that is not party to the Hague Adoption Convention

Note: Form I-600A can be filed even if the U.S. citizen does not have a specific child identified for adoption.

Hague Adoption Convention countries

The list of countries that are parties to the Hague Adoption Convention:

  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Armenia
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Belize
  • Benin
  • Bolivia
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Bulgaria
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cambodia
  • Canada
  • Cabo Verde
  • Chile
  • China (and Hong Kong)
  • Colombia
  • Côte d’Ivoire
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Cuba
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Estonia
  • Fiji
  • Eswatini
  • Finland
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Ghana
  • Greece
  • Guatemala
  • Guinea
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Latvia
  • Lesotho
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macedonia
  • Madagascar
  • Mali
  • Malta
  • Mauritius
  • Mexico
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Namibia
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Niger
  • Norway
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Republic of the Congo
  • Romania
  • Rwanda
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis 
  • San Marino
  • Senegal
  • Serbia
  • Seychelles
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Thailand
  • Togo
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam
  • Zambia

The current list of Hague Convention countries is available on the U.S. Department of State website.

Who cannot file Form I-600A?

The following individuals are not eligible to file Form I-600A:

  • You are not a U.S. citizen (at least one of the adoptive parents must be a U.S. citizen)
  • If married, your spouse is not living in the U.S. in lawful immigration status 
  • You plan to adopt or have adopted a child from a country that is a party to the Hague Adoption Convention. In this case, you must file Form I-800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Party

Exceptions:

  • You (and your spouse, if married) were not yet U.S. citizens when you adopted a child from a Hague Adoption Convention country, but you are a U.S. citizen at the time of Form I-600A filing; OR
  • The child’s adoption is not governed by the Hague Adoption Convention.

Note: if you file Form I-600A under these exceptions, you must provide documentation demonstrating that you meet the exception requirements.

How to file Form I-600A?

Filing Form I-600A involves the following steps:

Step 1. Complete Home Study:

Step 2. Obtain the Latest Form:

  • Download the most recent edition of Form I-600A from the USCIS website
  • Ensure that you are using the most recent edition, as using an outdated version may result in delays and rejections.

Step 3. Gather Supporting Documents:

  • Collect all the necessary supporting documents (see the checklist below). 
  • Unless directed otherwise, submit only photocopies of the documents.

Step 4. Complete the Form:

Step 5. Pay the Filing Fee:

  • USCIS may update fees periodically, so be sure to verify the filing fee amount on the USCIS website before submitting your application.
  • Acceptable forms of payment include: money order, personal check, cashier’s check or credit card payment (fill out Form G-1450)
  • If paying by check, the check must be payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Step 6. Submit the Application:

  • Mail the completed Form I-600A along with the required supporting documents and the filing fee to the correct filing address.
  • It’s recommended to mail the application via express mail with a tracking number
  • Make a copy of the completed application for your records

Step 7. USCIS Review:

  • If you submitted Form G-1145 with your application, 1 week after the submission you will receive a text message or email from USCIS with your Form I-600A receipt notice. Check your spam folder.
  • USCIS will mail the receipt notice 2-3 weeks after the submission date
  • You can track the status of your application online by entering the Form I-600A receipt number 
  • After USCIS receives your application, it will be reviewed to determine whether the U.S. USCIS may issue a Request for Evidence (RFE) during the review process.

Step 8. Notification of Decision:

  • USCIS will notify you of its decision on the Form I-600A application by mail.

Step 9. Proceed with Adoption:

  • Once you have received the Notice of Favorable Determination, work with your adoption service provider to identify a specific child for adoption.
  • When you have identified a child, you will file Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative.

Form I-600A filing fees

Form I-600A filing fee depends on your category:

  • General filing: $920
  • Filed due to change in marital status after prior Form I-600A is approved: $920
  • Filed due to change in marital status while prior Form I-600A is pending: $0

You can pay Form I-600A filing fees with a money order, personal check, cashier’s check or pay by credit card using Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions.

If you pay by check, it must be payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

USCIS filing fees are subject to change, check the most recent Form I-600A fees on the USCIS website.

Form I-600A checklist of required documents

The following documents must be submitted with Form I-600A application (submit photocopies only):

Required evidence

Examples of acceptable documents

Completed and signed Form I-600A
  • Download the most recent edition of Form I-600A on USCIS website
  • Answer all questions
  • Sign and date the form in ink
  • Unsigned, undated or outdated editions of Form I-600A will be rejected by USCIS
Filing fee 
  • Check the most recent Form I-600A fees on the USCIS website.
  • USCIS accepts the following payment methods:
    • Money order
    • Personal check
    • Cashier’s check, or
    • Credit card payment using Form G-1450
    • If you pay by check, it must be payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Proof of adoptive parent’s U.S. citizenship At least one of the following documents:

  • U.S. birth certificate (if adoptive parent was born in the U.S.);
  • Certificate of Naturalization;
  • Certificate of Citizenship;
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad (only if the adoptive parent was born abroad to U.S. citizen parent(s)); or
  • Unexpired U.S. passport (biographic page)
Proof of adoptive parents’ marriage
  • Marriage certificate of the adoptive parents
Proof of compliance with pre-adoption requirements (if applicable) If the child will be coming to the U.S. for adoption:

  • Documentation demonstrating that any pre-adoption requirements of the state where the child will live have been met or will be met (this can be submitted after Form I-600 is filed but before a final decision is made on Form I-600 petition)
Home Study You have one year from the filing date of Form I-600A to submit your home study:

  • Home study prepared by an authorized person/organization that is no more than 6 months old when it’s submitted to USCIS
  • If the home study is more than 6 months old, you must include an update to the home study

Form I-600A processing time

It can take about 6.5 months for Form I-600A to be processed by USCIS.

To check the most current processing times for Form I-600A:

Keep in mind that processing times are general estimates, and individual cases may take less or more time to complete.

Additionally, USCIS may issue Requests for Evidence (RFEs) during the processing of your application, which can add to the overall processing time. 

It’s crucial to respond promptly and thoroughly if you receive an RFE to avoid delays.

If your case is outside the normal processing time, you place an Outside Normal Processing Time e-Request or request assistance from your local congressman’s office.

Related Links:

Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative