The all important LOA!!! I totally wasn't expecting it today, but I received the call from our China case manager that our LOA (Letter of Acceptance) or LSC (Letter Seeking Confirmation) (it is known as both) had arrived!!! There was a big rush to get them signed and back to her in time to get copies of them and our I800 into their express mail today. These documents sent to the USCIS apply for approval to adopt Abigail and Jennifer specifically. Our case manager said approval takes 1-3 weeks.
We in the adoption world are always looking forward to that next step. According to China Adoption Online, here is what happens after the I800 is approved:
What Happens Next
- If you haven't already, please call or send an email to find out if your I800 has been approved. Once you know that your application has been approved, you are ready to move on to the National Visa Center!
- After approving your file, your officer will mail your approval to the National Visa Center by 2nd Day UPS Air. However, the approval isn't always mailed out the same day it's approved, so applications can take up seven days to arrive at NVC. Upon receiving your approval, the National Visa Center (NVC) will enter your information into their computer system.
- Within 1-3 business days, the NVC will "cable" (basically emailing/sending electronically) your file to the US Embassy in Guangzhou, China. This is approval of your visa petition.
- Upon doing this, the NVC will then mail you a letter stating that your petition has been forwarded to the Embassy. Your agency needs this NVC letter in order to proceed with your adoption! Unfortunately, this letter can take up to a few weeks to arrive in the mail. So instead, ask the NVC to email you the letter as a .pdf attachment.
- After you have received
and have been
cabled (and gotten the NVC letter),
it's time for your Article 5 letter to be issued by the US Embassy. This
is a step that you don't have to really DO anything about, but it is
helpful to know what is going on.
Once you have
emailed your NVC letter
to your agency, they will forward it to their in-China representative.
The in-China rep will take the NVC letter to the US Embassy in Guangzhou along with your DS-230 application and Parental LOA. The US Embassy only allows representatives to drop off the paperwork on certain days. (Article 5s are picked up and dropped off on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.)
Why is my paperwork going to the consulate?
The consulate needs to review your new child's visa application (the DS-230), make sure it meets the qualifications for an immigrant visa, and then signs off that everything is in order for the adoption to be completed. This is called the Article 5 letter. You cannot obtain custody of your child until the Article 5 letter is issued!
The consulate takes a standard two weeks to complete this process. If your paperwork is dropped off on a Tuesday, it will be picked up from the consulate by your agency rep two Tuesdays later.
Once it's picked up from the consulate, it will be delivered directly to the CCCWA for Travel Approval!
Now we get to send them a letter and pictures of their family and their new home. I hope this is welcome news to them. We are crazy excited but realize that it has to be a super scary thing for them. If you think of them, please pray for our little ones as they process this news over the next several weeks.