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Questions and Answers: USCIS to Adjudicate Petitions Filed Within the Russian Federation to Classify Orphans as Immediate Relatives
On March 30, 2009, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) assumed responsibility from the Department of State for adjudicating any Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, filed within the Russian Federation.
Given this change and to minimize the possibility of any delay while in Russia, USCIS recommends prospective adoptive parents and adoption service providers review the following list of questions and answers.
Questions and Answers
Q1. Where do I file Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, after adopting an orphan in Russia?
A1. You must file your Form I-600 with the USCIS Moscow Field Office located at the United States (U.S.) Embassy in Moscow at Novinsky Bulvar 19/23. The nearest subway stations are "Barrikadnaya" and "Krasnopresnenskaya." Parking is not readily available.
Q2. How can I contact the USCIS Moscow Field Office?
A2. The USCIS Moscow Field Office can be reached by:
Note: The USCIS Moscow Field Office is closed on American and Russian holidays.
Q3. What documents must I submit with my Form I-600?
A3. When you file Form I-600 in Russia, you will be submitting your documents at one window for two different departments: USCIS and the U.S. Department of State Consular Section. USCIS has authority for adjudicating the I-600 petition, and the Consular Section has authority for issuing the child’s immigrant visa after petition has been approved.
You should bring all of the documents listed below, including those required by the U.S. Department of State, to your appointment and be prepared to submit a photocopy (unless otherwise noted). All foreign language documents must be accompanied by a certified English translation. USCIS may at any time require that you submit the original document for review. Photocopies do not need to be notarized.
In addition to the documents listed above, the Department of State Consular Section requires certain documents to process the child’s immigrant visa. Please see the Department of State's website for more information and any updates, available on the right side of this page. As noted above, you should submit these documents when you are filing the I-600 petition with USCIS:
Q4. Do I need an appointment to file the Form I-600? If so, when are appointments scheduled?
A4. Yes, you will need an appointment to file the Form I-600 with the USCIS Moscow Field Office. You should make an appointment for a day when you will have all of the supporting documents to submit with your Form I-600. The time necessary to obtain all required Russian documents varies from case to case, and may range from several days to about two weeks after the final adoption court hearing. Before you make an appointment to file, you should contact your adoption service provider (ASP) for information about your final court hearing and when you will have all of the required documents to file Form I-600.
Q5. How do I schedule an appointment to file my Form I-600?
A5. To schedule an appointment to file Form I-600:
This process will allow you to select the date and time of your appointment with the USCIS Moscow Field Office.
Appointments will be available from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM, Monday to Friday (excluding American and Russian holidays) no earlier than two weeks (14 calendar days) before the anticipated filing date. You will be able to schedule an appointment up until the day of the desired filing date, however if the desired date is no longer available you will have to select the next available date. Please bring a printout of your INFOPASS appointment letter and a photo ID with you to your appointment in Moscow.
Q6. May my adoption service provider (ASP) submit the Form I-600 for me?
A6. Yes, an ASP may submit the Form I-600 on your behalf, but you must be physically present in Russia on the date the Form I-600 is filed and the INFOPASS appointment must be made in your name.
Note: USCIS may not release information to an ASP regarding your case unless you first provide written permission to do so. You may email or fax your written permission to the USCIS Moscow Field Office or submit it with your Form I-600.
The following is an example of acceptable language to provide such permission*:
*Again, this is not a required or official form, but rather sample language that you can use to provide the necessary consent to disclose information to your ASP.
Q7. What is the processing time for the Form I-600?
A7. The USCIS Moscow Field Office anticipates completing the processing of most Form I-600 petitions on the date they are filed with our office. Please note that this does not include the visa issuance process by the U.S. Embassy which may take additional time.
The most common situations that may cause a delay in processing (and your intended departure) include:
To avoid processing delays, please make sure (prior to departing the U.S.):
The following chart explains what to do if a cause for a processing delay applies to you:
Q8. How do I know if my Form I-600A extension request and/or any requests to amend my Form I-600A approval notice have been approved?
A8. If your Form I-600A extension request is approved, then you will receive an amended Form I-600A approval notice (Form I-171H or Form I-797C) indicating that your Form I-600A has been extended for another 18 months from the expiration date of the original Form I-600A approval. Notice of approval of the extension request will be forwarded by the USCIS field office to the USCIS Moscow Field Office through the National Visa Center (NVC). Note: If your Form I-600A has expired before requesting such an extension, or your last extension of approval of I-600A has expired, then you must file a new Form I-600A, with fee and supporting documentation, including a new home study.
Do not travel until the extension of approval or a new I-600A has been approved and the USCIS Moscow Field Office has received official notification of the approval notice.
The USCIS Moscow Field Office will also receive official notification of granted requests to amend Form I-600A approval notices through the NVC. Before traveling to Russia, please ensure that your I-600A approval has been amended and received by USCIS Moscow.
Q9. What is an amended home study?
A9. An amended home study should be a complete home study reflecting the changed information since the original home study was submitted to USCIS and should reflect a new recommendation in light of those changes. The new information should be included in the body of the new home study and should not be attached as addendum to the original home study. A copy of the original home study should be submitted with the amended version.
Q10. What is an updated home study?
A10. An updated home study—unlike an amended home study—will only be required by USCIS if:
An updated home study should meet all the requirements of your initial home study as if you are essentially starting the process anew.
Last Reviewed/Updated: 10/30/2009