Hooray!! Our LOA arrived last week, and we are FINALLY on to the next steps to bring Tucker home. Typically, once you receive LOA, our agency submits our I800 application to United States Citizen and Immigration Services (this is an application for Tuck to be allowed to live in our country). Because our agency had a head's up that our LOA was on the way, and we had previously discussed doing so, my social worker submitted our I800 application to USCIS on Last Monday, August 5th. This was sent overnight and received by USCIS on Tuesday, August 6th. I received a text message on August 8th to confirm that it was received! Yippee!
So, now I am supposed to email/call my officer (who seems really nice!) at USCIS until we receive our approval. This helps ensure our paperwork is together and that things are moving along appropriately. I sent a plea to our officer a few weeks ago letting her know about our situation in having to wait so very long for LOA. I begged her mercy in processing our paperwork, and she promised that once it was received, she would process things "expeditiously." That is a word that all adoptive parents LOVE to hear.
Typically, receiving Tucker's immigration approval should take 2 weeks from the time it was received, which means that we hope to get his approval around August 20th. After USCIS approves us, they send their paperwork to the National Visa Center (NVC) with two day shipping. Hypothetically, that means the NVC could receive our case on August 22nd.
We currently have a SIM # with USCIS, which is our family's case number. The NVC will then assign us a GUZ #, which is just another case number. I have to request a PDF document with that GUZ # in order to submit our paperwork to the US Consulate (Embassy) in Guangzhou, China. This typically takes about a week, which could put us around August 29th. Once I have that PDF document, I will send it to our agency, who with then submit a document called an Article 5 with our GUZ #. This Article 5 gets dropped off at the US Consulate and is there for two weeks. Then, the Article 5 gets picked up from the US Consulate. Projected dates for this might be Article 5 drop off August 30th and Article 5 pick up September 13th.
This begins our wait to hear from China for our TRAVEL APPROVAL (TA). I've seen travel approvals take anyway from 1-3 weeks. Once China issues our TA, we then schedule our Consulate Appointment (CA) with the US Consulate. After that CA is booked, then we buy our airline tickets, pack our bags, and head to China!
Clear as mud? :) All dates in BOLD are hypothetical...just to give you an idea of what is typical.
Of course, I hear there are some major holidays at the end of September and beginning of October that may delay getting our TA, but who knows. I am just trying to give you an idea of what COULD happen. As you have seen, there are delays that come without warning. Here is our entire adoption timeline. :) Enjoy!
07/19/12 - Felt calling to adopt a child with CL/CP
08/04/12 - Made the decision to adopt
09/06/12 - Submitted application to Lifeline Children Services
09/24/12 - Submitted application to a MLJ for Home Study
11/02/12 - Submitted binder to MLJ with Home Study requirements
12/18/12 - Finalized Home Study Report completed
12/20/12 - USCIS received our Immigration application
12/31/12 - Fingerprint appointment date and time received
01/23/13 - 10:45 a.m. Call from Lifeline - saw our son!!!
01/23/13 - 11:00 a.m. Fingerprint appointment at USCIS
02/11/13 - I-797 Approval - Allows us to bring a child into the US
02/21/13 - State Authentications
03/01/13 - Chinese Consulate Authentication
03/01/13 - Letter of Intent (LOI) - not processed until after LID
03/04/13 - Dossier to China (DTC)
03/20/13 - Log In Date (LID)
03/29/13 - Pre-Approval (PA)
06/28/13 - Out of Translation (OOT)
07/24/13 - Dossier Reviewed
08/08/13 - Letter of Acceptance (LOA)
- I-800 Approval (Immigration Application for our son)
- National Visa Center - GUZ #
- Article 5 Drop Off
- Article 5 Pick Up
- Travel Approval (TA)
- Meet Our Son!!!
- Consulate Appointment