USCIS Seoul Field Office: Processing for Form I-600 Petitions Filed on Behalf of a Child from the Republic of Korea
The last day the USCIS Seoul field office will be open to the public is Aug. 16, 2019. Effective Aug. 17, 2019, the USCIS Seoul field office will no longer accept or process new Forms I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition, or Forms I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative. Therefore, the last date to file a Form I-600A or Form I-600 locally with USCIS Seoul is Aug. 16, 2019.
Future USCIS Seoul adoption workload will shift to USCIS in the U.S. for domestic processing or to the Department of State (DOS). Specifically, after Aug. 16, 2019, instead of filing with USCIS Seoul, a U.S. citizen prospective adoptive parent(s) may file:
- Form I-600A applications and Form I-600 petitions with the USCIS National Benefits Center (NBC) via the appropriate Lockbox, and
- Form I-600 petitions with the appropriate Embassy or consulate in the adoptive child’s country of origin (if certain requirements are met).
See the USCIS Seoul Field Office webpage and Filing Instructions for Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, for additional filing information.
Important Note Regarding Form I-600 Petitions Processed at the National Benefits Center on Behalf of a Child from the Republic of Korea (ROK) with a Receipt Date Before or After Aug. 23, 2019
Any Form I-600 petition filed on behalf of a child from ROK with the NBC via the Lockbox with a receipt date after Aug. 23, 2019, must include evidence of a final adoption order issued by the ROK Family Court as required by the ROK Special Adoption Act (effective since August 5, 2012). If USCIS receives a Form I-600 petition filed after Aug. 23, 2019 (as reflected by the date on the receipt notice) without evidence of a final adoption order, the NBC will issue a Request for Evidence of a final adoption order as appropriate.
After Aug. 23, 2019, the NBC will issue final approval of Form I-600 petitions filed with the NBC via a domestic Lockbox after Aug. 23,2019 if prospective adoptive parents establish the child qualifies for classification as an orphan on the basis of a final adoption. The NBC will route approved Form I-600 petitions through the National Visa Center to the U.S. Embassy in Seoul for completion of the Form I-604 determination and visa screening.
Any Form I-600 petitions filed on behalf of a child from the ROK via the appropriate Lockbox for NBC processing with a receipt date on or before Aug. 23, 2019 will follow the previous processing model. For information on that processing model see the archived USCIS webpage Transferring Forms I-600 Filed on Behalf of Children from the Republic of Korea from National Benefits Center to USCIS Seoul Field Office.
However, if you file a Form I-600 petition on behalf of a child from the ROK via the domestic Lockbox for NBC processing and have a receipt date after Aug. 23, 2019, you must submit:
- A legible, certified copy of the Adoption Decree and Certificate of Irrevocable Judgment; and
- Evidence the single parent, or, if married, at least one parent, saw the child before or during the adoption proceedings in order to obtain an IR-3 visa classification for the child.
Families may also choose to file their Form I-600 petitions directly with the U.S. Embassy in Seoul after Aug. 16, 2019.
Cases Pending with USCIS Seoul Field Office
Due to the scheduled closure, the USCIS Seoul field office may not be able to complete adjudication of pending Form I-600A applications and Form I-600 petitions. If the USCIS Seoul field office transfers a pending application or petition as detailed below, USCIS will issue a Notice of Transfer letter, including the transfer location, date of transfer, and information to confirm the status of the pending Form I-600A or Form I-600.
- Any pending Form I-600A application will be transferred to the NBC to complete processing.
- Any pending Form I-600 petition filed on behalf of a child not from the ROK will be transferred to the NBC to complete processing.
- Any pending Form I-600 petition filed on behalf of a child from the ROK will be transferred to the consular section at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul. Note, the consular section will also complete the required Form I-604 orphan determination in all Form I-600 cases regardless of where the petition is filed or transferred.