What’s the Deal with USCIS?

USCIS – United States Citizenship and Immigration Services


It sounded official enough to make ME feel intimidated! Or at least feel like there was a lot more paperwork coming my way!

But in reality, it is just one more step that gets you closer to your new son or daughter.

Upon completion of your home study, and after it has been approved by your agency, it will be time to file your I-800a. This is you application to bring a child into the U.S. Once the application is received, USCIS will assign you an appointment time to show up at your local office and be fingerprinted.


They will then snail mail you a notice of this time and location. Depending on the volume of requests around a given time, you would wait anywhere from 1 to 6 weeks for an appointment. Typically, it is more in the 2 – 4 week timeframe. Once they received their notice of appointment, some families have had success “walking in” rather than waiting for their scheduled time. Some have been allowed to walk in only due to the fact that they were a military member in uniform. Some families have tried and been turned away and told to wait until their scheduled time. Different locations seem to handle this one differently. It is possible that you could save yourselves a few weeks at this step if you happened to be near one of the more lenient locations.

Once your fingerprints have been submitted and USCIS considers you fit to bring a child into the U.S., they will issue you your I-800a approval. Which is again snail mailed to you. It is likely by this point that this is your last piece of paperwork required for your dossier (huge load of paperwork) to be completed. And as anyone who has already passed this step can tell you, there is nothing quite like placing every piece of paper you have spent the last several months collecting, notarizing and authenticating into ONE envelope and handing it over to the mail carrier. Thank God for package tracking, or some people would be a nervous wreck…or so I have been told. *Ahem*

Hold on folks…you are about to be DTC…Dossier to China!