Updating Fingerprints

August 18, 2008 at 12:11 pm 1 comment

I’m cleaning out my computer in preparation of our trip and, yes Susan and Kerri, finally downloading Skype.

Our fingerprints have been taken by the USCIS three times and we are currently awaiting our third approval. While I was looking through information on how to go about this update, I found a great set of instructions on an adoption site for China and had copied. Before I delete this, I wanted to share what I found. I apologize, but I didn’t bookmark the site. However, for those of you needing to update your prints, here is a good outline of what you should do:

  • How long are they valid? Fingerprints are valid for 15 months in all states. Your fingerprints MUST be valid during your entire trip in China. It is your responsibility to make sure that your fingerprints do not expire.
  • Locating your fingerprint expiration date — The expiration date should be listed on your USCIS (a.k.a.INS) approval. You received this document before your dossier was sent to China and it says, “Notice of Favorable Disposition Concerning Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition” – it is also referred to as your I-1797C form or I-171H form (depending on what state you live in). The fingerprint expiration date is usually found in the middle of a paragraph in the text of the approval. If you can’t find the date, call us and we can try to help you. The American Consulate is now requesting we include Fingerprint expiration dates when we make visa appointments.
  • How to update your fingerprints? You can now update your fingerprints at the same time as updating your I600A!!!
  • Send a copy of your original USCIS approval to your local USCIS office (do not include a money order for $80/person if this is your 2nd re-filing). Include a cover letter stating that your fingerprints will be expiring and your I600-A will be expiring. Make sure to include their expiration dates. Request that you receive a fingerprinting appointment to have your fingerprints re-done as you have not yet completed the adoption and additionally that your current I600-A approval be extended. They will then send you a fingerprinting appointment letter in the mail. (Please note: making an InfoPass appointment is NOT a fingerprint appointment.) After fingerprinting you will receive a new approval from USCIS, please notify CAWLI or send them a copy of this new approval.
  • Because it takes several weeks to get the fingerprinting and USCIS extension of the I600-A we recommend requesting the extension about 6-8 weeks prior to the expiration date.

Just a note: You may wonder why we’ve been fingerprinted three times or why those of you going through this adoption process have to continually renew your prints at the fee of $80 per set (which comes to a total $480 for us). The USCIS only keeps fingerprints of convicted felons so if you haven’t been committed for a crime, your prints will expire in 15 months. This, we have been told, is part of your protection of your privacy rights.

I do appreciate the fact that my rights are considered, but there needs to be some contingency for families that are adopting so that their prints remain valid until the adoption has been completed or the process has been ceased. As it goes now, this is another expense that the adoptive parent could just do without and an unnecessary waste of time for all involved. Of course, the US government is making quite a bit of $$$ of this. Something to consider.


Entry filed under: Kazakhstan Adoption. Tags: , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Susan  |  August 18, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    we did ours too before we left (but jsut had to do it twice!)
    ours were good until oct 28th, but i wasn’t taking a chance!!

    we got our judge today, so it will probably be 4 weeks until court, from pre-court, which will hopefully be next week.
    so, i’ll be here a long time.

    can’t wait to see you
    the weather is gorgeous.



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