Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Our new I171-H arrived today! I was so excited! The approval date is June 11, 2007, which means it will expire on December 11, 2008 (this is good for 18 months). Our fingerprints were taken on June 5, 2007, and those will expire on September 5, 2008 (fingerprints expire after 15 months).

What is this for, anyway? The I171-H, sometimes known as an I797, is basically approved from the Department of Homeland Security saying that they are approving you to adopt and they will issue an immigrant visa on behalf of your child once an adoption is completed. The immigrant visa is basically the U.S. government giving permission for the adopted child to legally enter the United States. The Citizenship and Immigration Service (CIS, which used to be known as INS), requires adoptive families to turn in a completed homestudy (in our case, a homestudy update), birth certificates, marriage license, and if applicable, divorce decrees.

You have to go to the nearest CIS office (in our case, Atlanta), and be fingerprinted. This is a very interesting process. When we adopted Shelby and Jeremy, they did it the old-fashioned way, with an inked pad and a blue and white card. Now, your fingerprints are scanned on a computer screen, sent to the FBI, and from what I understand, clear the FBI in 24-48 hours.

SOOO, getting the I171H is a very important step in the adoption process, and one more hurdle leaped, so we can say that we are one step closer to Kaelie.

In my next post, and after a little more research, I'd like to explain the difference between an IR3 and IR4 visa. Stay tuned......


Lily Kate's Mom said...

Hey there fellow GOLF'er!

We are waiting for ours to arrive any day. I will feel better once I have it in hand, even though we likely won't be travelling for while :(

Hope all is well with you and your family!

Susan and Jonathan

Karen said...

Hey Susan!

Thanks, and we are all doing fine. I feel rather impatient today, esp. after reading a friend's travel journal! I want to go to China, I want to go to China....