10/25/07: The USCIS Update has been posted to their website. This update is very similar to the information posted below, with this additional clarification:
USCIS will forward all Form I-600s received in domestic USCIS field offices on or after October 29, 2007 to its Ho Chi Minh City office.After November 16, 2007, USCIS will not expedite the processing of the Form I-600 solely because the petitioner is in Vietnam. If a petitioner chooses to travel to Vietnam to file the Form I-600 after November 16, 2007, the petition and supporting documents will undergo the same processing as those filed and received by mail.
We were pleased to receive a clarification on the new I600 filing procedures directly from the US Embassy this morning. To quote:
The new procedures for filing I-600 petitions is Vietnam were approved on October 19. Under this procedures adopting parents will now send the I-600 petition to the USCIS office in Ho Chi Minh City. Only USCIS in Ho Chi Minh City will accept the I-600s. No other USCIS office will have the athority to approve I-600 petitions for adoptions in Vietnam.
The full text of the Embassy’s announcement of the new policy:
The Consular Section of U.S. Embassy Hanoi and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) office in Ho Chi Minh City are pleased to announce that effective October 29, 2007, all I-600 petitions to Classify Orphans as an Immediate Relative will be accepted by mail. As explained during the September 2007 Adoption Service Provider meeting, this procedure will take the place of the current I-600 interview. Special procedures apply for prospective adoptive parents who are currently in Vietnam or who have imminent travel plans.
I-600 petitions and supporting documents should be mailled to one of the following addresses:
For standard U.S. mail:
U.S. Consulate General
Ho Chi Minh City
PSC 461 Box 500
FPO AP 96521-0002
For express service:
U.S. Consulate General
4 Le Duan St
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
I-600 Petitions to Classify Oprhans as an Immediate Relative should be accompanied by the following documents:
I-600 – include email address of the petitioner
Copy of approved I-171H
Referral photo of child and date received
Letter from licensed ASP stating that they are assisting the petitioner with the adoption.
Additional documentation (Please provide three copies of each document. Each copy should be accompanied by an English translation.):
1) Biological mother abandoned the child after giving birth in a hospital or medical center:
2) Child found abandoned:
Processing time for the petitions will be approximately 60 days. Petitioners should not travel to Vietnam until they have received a provisional approval letter from the US Embassy in Hanoi. Upon receipt of this letter, petitioners may travel to Vietnam and have their Giving and Receiving Ceremony. Once the adoption is complete, an immigrant visa interview should be scheduled with the US Embassy in Hanoi, as there will no longer be a separate I-600 interview.
Please note that only the USCIS office in Ho Chi Minh City can review I-600 petitions. These petitions should not be filed with USCIS offices in the US.
Both the Department of State and USCIS in Vietnam have encountered inconsistencies in the documentation and circumstances regarding the relinquishment or abandonment of children for adoption. These irregularities may affect the eligibility of the child for classification as an orphan. They have also resulted in long delays for parents awaiting resolution of these issues while they are in Vietnam. In some cases, these circumstances have proved difficult to address or overcome for all parties involved.
As a result, we strongly encourage all prospective adoptive parents who do not have imminent travel plans to Vietnam to file their petitions according to the above instructions. However, we recognize that some cases will arise from petitioners traveling to Vietnam during the transition period. Therefore we will continue to schedule I-600 interviews until November 2, 2006. From November 5 through November 16, 2007, the Consular Section of U.S. Embassy Hanoi and the USCIS office in Ho Chi Minh City will only accept requests for I-600 interivews on a case-by-case basis. To request an interview during this period, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org providing a justification as to why the I-600 cannot be submitted by mail. Beginning November 17, 2007, I-600 petitions will only be accepted by mail. A public announcment regarding the new procedure will be forthcoming from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service at www.uscis.gov