Sunday, January 16, 2011

Embassy Changes (possibly good?)

We are so very, very far away from worrying about embassy dates (we need to 1-pass immigration, 2-wait 7-12 months, 3-accept a referral. 4-wait for court, 5-go to court in Addis, and then wait for a visit to the embassy) yet, a couple of days ago it seems some promising (?) news came out of Ethiopia.  We'll take it!  Basically, what this means (to my understanding) is that folks waiting for their embassy dates (meaning they are legal parents, yet their children are in Ethiopia and they are in the US) may have a significantly shorter wait than in the past.  As wait times had grown to 3-4 months (really!) this may be very, very reassuring news moving forward.

Adoption Processing at the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa

January 13, 2011

The U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa announces a change in its adoption visa case intake and appointment scheduling process.

As of January 24, 2011, adoption service providers (ASPs) may bring all cases ready for Embassy appointments to the consular section on a weekly basis (this is a change from the previous biweekly schedule).  Once the Embassy receives an adoption case, screens it, and determines that the case is complete and ready for interview, the Embassy will inform the ASP via email.  The ASP, working together with adoptive families, will then select a date for the immigrant visa interview.  This new procedure may reduce the wait time for an Embassy appointment in many cases.

Adoptive parents should be aware that in all adoption visa cases worldwide, an I-604 (Determination on Child for Adoption, sometimes referred to as “orphan investigation”) must be completed in connection with every I-600 application to ensure that the true facts surrounding a child’s relinquishment or abandonment are stated and that the child meets the definition of an orphan under U.S. immigration law.  Depending on the circumstances of the case, this investigation may take up to several weeks or even months to complete before a case is determined to be ready for an immigrant visa interview.   Note that the final decision on the case is made after the adoption visa interview.

Adoptive parents and adoption agencies are reminded that the Embassy does not guarantee an appointment date until the screening and investigation process is complete.  Families should not travel until their agency has received affirmative confirmation that the case is ready for interview, which the Embassy will provide no sooner than 48 hours after case submission.


  1. Yaaay! OMG good news for once!! I feel like busting out a bottle of champagne :-)