Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition

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

IMPORTANT: Information on this site may be outdated. For up-to-date instructions and filing fees check always with the USCIS site:

Purpose of Form :

This form is used by USCIS to adjudicate the qualifications of the applicant(s) as prospective adoptive parents. Filing this form will generally speed up the part of the processing relating to the qualifications of the prospective adoptive parent petitioner(s).

Number of Pages :


Edition Date :

10/26/05. Prior versions acceptable.

Where to File :

A prospective petitioner residing in the U.S. should file with the Local Office with jurisdiction over the prospective petitioner’s place of residence. A prospective petitioner residing outside the U.S. should consult the nearest American consulate or embassy.

Filing Fee :


Special Instructions :

Note on Filing Fee :

A $70.00 per person fee for biometrics for each person 18 years or older living with applicant.

If the fee is paid at the time of filing a Form I-600A, a fee is not required again to file the I-600.

When more than one petition is submitted by the same petitioner for orphans who are siblings, only one set of petition and fingerprinting fees is required. When more than one petition is submitted for orphans who are not siblings, the filing and biometric fees must be included for each petition.

Download I-600A (146KB PDF)

Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
OMB No. 1615-0028; Expires 08/31/08
I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition


What Is the Purpose of This Form?

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. “Advance Processing” enables USCIS to first adjudicate the application that relates to the qualifications of the applicant(s) as a prospective adoptive parent(s).

Additionally, this form may be used in cases where the child is known and the prospective adoptive parent(s) are traveling to the country where the child is located. However, it is important that prospective adoptive parent(s) be aware that the child must remain in the foreign country where he or she is located until the processing is completed.

NOTE: This Form I-600A application is not a petition to classify an orphan as an immediate relative. Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, is used for that purpose.

1. What Are the Eligibility Requirements?

A. Eligibility for advance processing application (Form I-600A).

An application for advance processing may be filed by a married U.S. citizen and spouse. The spouse of the applicant does not need to be a U.S. citizen; however, he or she must be in a lawful immigration status. An application for advance processing may also be filed by an unmarried U.S citizen who is at least 24 years of age provided that he or she will be at least 25 at the time of adoption and the filing of an orphan petition on behalf of a child.

B. Eligibility for orphan petition (Form I-600).

In addition to the requirements concerning the citizenship and age of the applicant described above in Instruction 1. A. when a child is located and identified the following eligibility requirements will apply:

(1) Child.

Under U.S. immigration law, an orphan is an alien child who has no parents because of the death or disappearance of, abandonment or desertion by, or separation or loss from both parents.

An orphan is also a child who has only one parent who is not capable of taking care of the orphan and who has, in writing, irrevocably released the orphan for emigration and adoption.

A petition to classify an alien as an orphan (Form I-600) may not be filed on behalf of a child who is present in the United States, unless that child is in parole status and has not been adopted in the United States.

The petition must be filed before the child’s 16th birthday.

(2) Adoption abroad.

If the orphan was adopted abroad, it must be established that both the married applicant and spouse or the unmarried applicant personally saw and observed the child prior to or during the adoption proceedings. The adoption decree must show that a married prospective adoptive parent and spouse adopted the child jointly or that an unmarried prospective parent was at least 25 years of age at the time of the adoption and filing of Form I-600.

(3) Proxy adoption abroad.

If both the applicant and spouse or the unmarried applicant did not personally see and observe the child prior to or during the adoption proceedings abroad the applicant (and spouse, if married) must submit a statement indicating the applicant’s (and, if married the spouse’s) willingness and intent to readopt the child in the United States. If requested, the applicant must submit a statement by an official of the state in which the child will reside that readoption is permissible in that State. In addition, evidence must be submitted to show compliance with the preadoption requirements, if any, of that State.

(4) Preadoption requirements.

If the orphan has not been adopted abroad, the applicant and spouse or the unmarried applicant must establish that the child will be adopted in the United States by the prospective applicant and spouse jointly or by the unmarried prospective applicant, and that the preadoption requirements, if any, of the State of the orphan’s proposed residence have been met.

2. What Are the Requirements to File?

A. Proof of U. S. citizenship of the prospective adoptive parent(s).

(1) If a U.S. citizen by birth in the United States, submit a copy of the birth certificate issued by the civil registrar, vital statistics office or other civil authority. If a birth certificate is not available, submit a statement from the appropriate civil authority certifying that a birth certificate is not available. In such a situation secondary evidence must be submitted, including:

Church records bearing the seal of the church showing the baptism, dedication or comparable rite occurred within two months after birth and showing the date and place of the prospective adoptive parent’s birth, date of the religious ceremony and the names of the parents;

School Records issued by the authority (preferably the first school attended) showing the date of admission to the school, prospective adoptive parent’s date of birth or age at the time, the place of birth and the names of the parents;

Census records (state or federal) showing the name place of birth, date of birth or age of the prospective adoptive parent listed;

Affidavits sworn to or affirmed by two persons who were living at the time and who have personal knowledge of the date and place of birth in the United States of the prospective adoptive parent. Each affidavit should contain the following information regarding the person making the affidavit: his or her full name, address, date and place of birth and relationship to the prospective adoptive parent, if any and full information concerning the event and complete details of how the affiant acquired knowledge of the birth; or

An unexpired U.S. passport, initially issued for ten years, may also be submitted as proof of U.S citizenship.

(2) If the prospective adoptive parent was born outside the United States, submit a copy of one of the following:

  • Certificate of Naturalization or Certificate of Citizenship issued the by U.S.
  • Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS);
  • Form FS-240, Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States, issued by an American embassy;
  • An unexpired U.S. passport initially issued for ten years; or
  • An original statement from a U.S. consular officer verifying the applicant’s U.S. citizenship with a valid passport.

NOTE: Proof of the lawful immigration status of the applicant’s spouse, if applicable, must be submitted. If the spouse is not a U.S. citizen, proof of her or his lawful immigration status, such as Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card; Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record; or a copy of the biographic pages of the spouse’s passport and the nonimmigrant visa pages showing an admission stamp may be submitted.

B. Proof of marriage of applicant and spouse.

The married applicant must submit a copy of the certificate of marriage and proof of termination of all prior marriages of himself or herself and spouse. In the case of an unmarried applicant who was previously married, submit proof of termination of all prior marriages.

NOTE: If any change occurs in the applicant'(s) marital status while the application is pending, immediately notify the USCIS office where the application was filed.

C. Home Study.

The home study must include a statement or attachment recommending or approving the adoption or proposed adoption, and be signed by an official of the responsible State agency in the State of the proposed residence or of an agency authorized by that State.

In the case of a child adopted abroad, the statement or attachment must be signed by an official of an appropriate public or private adoption agency which is licensed in the U.S.

The home study must be prepared by an entity (individual or organization) licensed or otherwise authorized under the laws of the State of the orphan’s proposed residence to conduct research and preparation for a home study, including the required personal interviews.

If the recommending agency is licensed, the recommendation must specify that it is licensed, the State in which it is licensed, its license number, if any, and the period of validity of the license.

However, the research, including the interview and the preparation of the home study may be done by an individual or group in the United States or abroad that is satisfactory to the recommending entity.

A responsible State agency or licensed agency may accept a home study made by an unlicensed or foreign agency and use that home study as a basis for a favorable recommendation.

The home study must provide an assessment of the capabilities of the prospective adoptive parent(s) to properly parent the orphan and must include a discussion of the following areas:

1) An assessment of the financial ability of the adoptive or prospective adoptive parents or parent.

2) A detailed description of the accommodations where the adoptive or prospective adoptive parents or parent currently reside(s).

3) If the prospective adoptive parent or parents residing abroad at the time of the home study, a description of the living accommodations where the child will reside in the United States, with the prospective adoptive parent or parents, if known.

4) An assessment of the physical, mental and emotional capabilities of the adoptive or prospective adoptive parent or parents in relation to rearing and educating the child.

5) An explanation regarding any history of abuse or violence or any complaints, charges, arrests, citations convictions, prison terms, pardons, rehabilitation decrees for breaking or violating any law or ordinance by the prospective adoptive parent(s) or any additional adult member of the household over age 18 years.

NOTE: Having committed any crime of moral turpitude or a drug-related offense does not necessarily mean that the prospective adoptive parent(s) will be found not qualified to adopt an orphan. However, failure to disclose such information may result in denial of this application and/or any subsequent petition for an orphan.

D. Biometric services.

As part of the USCIS biometric services requirement, the following persons must be fingerprinted in connection with this application:

  • The married prospective adoptive parent and spouse, if applicable, and
  • Each additional adult member 18 years of age or older, of the prospective adoptive parent(s)’ household. NOTE: Submit copy of the birth certificate of each qualifying household member over 18.

If necessary, USCIS may also take each person’s photograph and signature as part of the biometric services.

1) Petitioners residing in the United States. After filing this petition, USCIS will notify each person in writing of the time and location where they must go to be fingerprinted. Failure to appear to be fingerprinted or for other biometric services may result in denial of this application.

2) Petitioners residing abroad. Completed fingerprint cards (Forms FD-258) must be submitted with this application. Do not bend, fold or crease the completed fingerprint cards. The fingerprint cards must be prepared by a U.S. embassy or consulate, USCIS office or U.S. military installation.

3. General Filing Instructions.

A. Type or print legibly in black ink.

B. If extra space is needed to complete any item, attach a continuation sheet, indicate the item number, and date and sign each sheet.

C. Translations.

Any foreign language document must be accompanied by a full English translation that the translator has certified as complete and correct. The translator must also certify that he or she is competent to translate the foreign language into English.

D. Copies.

If these instructions tell you to submit a copy of document, you do not have to send the original document. However, if there are stamps, remarks, notations, etc., on the back of the original documents, also submit copies of the back of each document(s). You will not have to submit the original document unless USCIS requests it.

There are times when USCIS must request an original copy of a document. In that case, the original document is generally returned after it has been reviewed.

E. Certification.

The “Certification of Prospective Adoptive Parent” block of Form I-600A must be executed by the prospective adoptive parent. The spouse, if applicable, must execute the “Certification of Married Prospective Adoptive Parent Spouse” block on Page 2 of the form. Failure to do so will result in the rejection of the Form I-600A.

F. Submission of the Application.

A prospective adoptive parent residing in the United States should send the completed application to the USCIS office having jurisdiction over his or her place of residence. A prospective adoptive parent residing outside the United States should consult the nearest American consulate for the overseas or stateside USCIS office designated to act on the application.

4. What Is the Fee.

A fee of $545.00 must be submitted for filing this application.

In addition to the fee for the application, there is a $70.00 biometric services fee for fingerprinting every adult person living in the household in the United States where the child will reside.

For example, if an application is filed by a married couple residing in the United States with one additional adult member in their household, the total fees that must be submitted would be $755.00 ($545.00 for the petition and $210.00 for the biometric services fees for fingerprinting the three adults).

NOTE: If the prospective adoptive parent(s) and any other adult members of the household are residing abroad at the time of filing, they are exempt from paying the biometric services fee for fingerprinting. However, they may have to pay fingerprinting fees charged by the U.S. Department of State or military installation.
The fee will not be refunded, whether the application is approved or not. Do not mail cash.

All checks or money orders, whether U.S. or foreign, must be payable in U.S.currency at a financial institution in the United States. When a check is drawn on the account of a person other than yourself, write your name on the face of the check. If the check is not honored, USCIS will charge you $30.00.

Pay by check or money order in the exact amount. Make the check or money order payable to the Department of Homeland Security, unless:

A. You live in Guam, make the check or money order payable to the “Treasurer, Guam” or

B. You live in the U.S. Virgin Islands, make your check or money order payable to the “Commissioner of Finance of the Virgin Islands.”

How to Check If the Fee Is Correct.

The fee on this form is current as of the edition date appearing in the lower right corner of this page. However, because USCIS fees change periodically, you can verify if the fee is correct by following one of the steps below: – Visit our website at and scroll down to “Forms and E-Filing” to check the appropriate fee, or – Review the Fee Schedule included in your form package, if you called us to request the form, or – Telephone our National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 and ask for the fee information.

NOTE: If your petition or application requires a biometric services fee for USCIS to take your fingerprints, photograph or signature, you can use the same procedure above to confirm the biometrics fee.

5. What Should You Do After Locating and/or Identifying a Child or Children?

Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, is filed when a child has been located and/or identified for the prospective adoptive parent(s). A new fee is not required if Form I-600 is filed within 18 months from the approval date of the Form I-600A application. If approved in the home study for more than one orphan, the prospective adoptive parent(s) may file a petition for each of the additional children to the maximum number approved. If the orphans are siblings, no additional filing fee is required. However, if the orphans are not siblings, an additional filing fee is required for each orphan beyond the first orphan.

NOTE: Approval of an advance processing application does not guarantee that the orphan petition(s) will be approved.

Form I-600 must be accompanied by all the evidence required by the instructions of that form, except where provided previously with Form I-600A.

Generally, Form I-600 should be submitted at the USCIS office where the advance processing application, Form I-600A, was filed. Prospective adoptive parent(s) going abroad to adopt or locate a child may file Form I-600 with either the USCIS office or American consulate or embassy having jurisdiction over the place where the child is residing or will be located, unless the case is being retained at the USCIS office stateside.

USCIS has offices in the following countries: Austria, China, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Germany, Ghana, Great Britain, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Italy, Jamaica, Kenya, Korea, Mexico, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Thailand and Vietnam.

6. Penalties.

Willful false statements on this form or supporting documents may be punished by fine or imprisonment. U. S. Code, Title 18, Sec. 1001 (Formerly Sec. 80.)

7. Authority for Collecting Information.

8 U.S.C 1154 (a). Routine uses for disclosure under the Privacy Act of 1974 have been published in the Federal Register and are available upon request. USCIS will use the information to determine immigrant eligibility Submission of the information is voluntary, but failure to provide any or all of the information may result in denial of the application.

8. USCIS Forms and Information.

To order USCIS forms, call our toll-free number at 1-800-870-3676. You can also get USCIS forms and information on laws, regulations and procedures by telephoning our National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 or visiting our internet website at www.

9. Use InfoPass for Appointments.

As an alternative to waiting in line for assistance at your local USCIS office, you can now schedule an appointment through our internet-based system, InfoPass. To access the system, visit our website at Use the InfoPass appointment scheduler and follow the screen prompts to set up your appointment. InfoPass generates an electronic appointment notice that appears on the screen. Print the notice and take it with you to your appointment. The notice gives the time and date of your appointment, along with the address of the USCIS office.

10. Reporting Burden.

A person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 30 minutes per response including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Regulatory Management Division, 111 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20529; OMB No. 1615-0028 Do not mail your completed application to this address.