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Special Fingerprint Instructions for Form I-600, "Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative (Orphan Petition)," and Form I-600A, "Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition (Advance Processing Application)"

Immigration regulations require that prospective adoptive parents and all additional adult (18 years of age or older) members of the prospective adoptive parents’ household provide fingerprints to USCIS for completion of FBI background checks. These background checks are one of the primary tools used by USCIS to determine the ability of prospective adoptive parents to provide a proper home environment for an orphan and their suitability as parents.

IMPORTANT:

  • FBI fingerprint checks are valid for fifteen (15) months.
  • An approved Form I-600A is valid for eighteen (18) months. During those eighteen months, a Form I-600 must be filed.
  • A Form I-600 may not be approved without current FBI fingerprint records for the prospective adoptive parent(s) and all adult members of the prospective adoptive parents’ household. It may be necessary to provide fingerprints more than once in order to comply with Immigration regulations.

Prospective adoptive parents filing Orphan Petitions and Advance Processing Applications on or after March 29, 1998, must comply with the following instructions:

  • Submit an $85 fingerprinting fee for each prospective adoptive parent and for each adult member (18 years of age or older) of the household in addition to the orphan petition or advance processing application filing fee. For example, married prospective adoptive parents with two additional adult members of the household must submit $340 ($85 × 4) along with the $720 filing fee for total fees of $1,060. The total fees may be submitted in one check. Do not submit completed fingerprint cards with the Orphan Petition or Advance Processing Application.
  • Prospective adoptive parents must advise USCIS of all additional adult members of the household at the time of filing the orphan petition or application for advance processing. We require this information so that all persons requiring fingerprinting may be scheduled for an appointment. Failure to advise USCIS of additional adult members of the household may result in processing delays.
  • After receiving an Orphan Petition or Advance Processing Application, USCIS will send appointment letters with the date and location for all prospective adoptive parents and additional adult members of the household to be fingerprinted. Please read the instructions in the appointment letters carefully, and take the letters with you to the USCIS fingerprint location for the fingerprint appointment.
  • Processing and adjudication of Orphan Petitions and Advance Processing Applications continues to be an USCIS priority. Therefore, to avoid processing and adjudication delays, USCIS will schedule fingerprint appointments for prospective adoptive parents and the adult members of their households on an accelerated schedule.
  • Prospective adoptive parents residing abroad (and adult members of the household) are also required to be fingerprinted, however, they are exempt from the fingerprinting fee. Prospective adoptive parents residing abroad (and adult members of the household) must have their fingerprint cards prepared by USCIS, by a United States consular officer at a United States Embassy or consulate abroad, or at a United States military installation abroad. While those prospective adoptive parents will not be charged the fingerprinting fee, State Department consular officers and United States military offices are authorized to charge a fee for this service. These completed fingerprint cards must be submitted with the Orphan Petition or Advance Processing Application.
Last Reviewed/Updated: 01/20/2011