Tuesday, June 3, 2008

By the Hair of Our Chinny Chin Chins....

We went into immigration today and had our fingerprints updated for our adoption paperwork. We did it JUST in the nick of time. I knew that our immigration approval (I 171-H) expired 18 months after our approval date (May 2007) so I wasn't paying attention to the expiration date of the fingerprints we had done to get that approval. I assumed they would expire at the same time. (You know what they say about assumptions) : )

At the bottom of the I 171-H approval form it says that our fingerprints expire June 4, 2008. Guess what today is! June 3, 2008. I'm so thankful that my friend Angela pointed out the different expiration dates to me or we would have missed it.

The best news of the day was when they told us that today's fingerprints were free because we got them done before they expired. FREE???? I didn't know there was anything free about adoption.

For those adopting and looking at paperwork expiring before your adoptions will be completed, I thought I'd post what I now know about expirations:

- Your immigration fingerprints expire 15 months from the day you got them done, not the day you get your I-600A approval. The day they expire is on the bottom of your I 171-H form.

- Your I-171-H approval expires 18 months from your approval date, not the date you applied.

- If you need to update your fingerprints it will be free if you do it before they expire. Bring your I 171-H approval form with you and your ID. It was a really easy process here. We didn't even need an appointment. Other offices are bigger and busier and do require an appointment.

- If you need to file an extension for your I 171-H approval, you can do that no earlier than 90 days before it expires and no later than the expiration date. If you file for that extension within that window, it will be free also. You get one free extension and will extend your approval for another 18 months. To apply for the extension, you will need an updated homestudy, your marriage license and your birth certificates and your ID.

I hope this all helps someone. : )



Michelle said...

Thank you Becky! I'm checking my paperwork right now, and looks like we'll have to do it again...third times a charm, they say:-0
Anyway, my form says that to schedule a fingerprint appt I must send in a copy of my 171H and a check for the fingerprinting fee. Do you know if policies/fees vary from state to state or is it pretty standardized? I'd like to avoid the fee again if possible.


Becky Avella said...

I don't know for sure, but I would think that since it is a federal agency, the fees would be the same, but maybe policies slightly different state to state.

Unfortunately, I think the free extension is only good one time. Since this will be your third renewal, you will probably have to pay again. I'm sorry....with all you've been through that must feel unfair!