to get our new I-171H! For those of you not in the know on adoption forms, this is the king kahuna form that allows you to travel to China to adopt an orphan. Believe it or not, even with this LONG wait, this form expires 18 months from issuance. I know, this makes LOTS of sense.
Months before our first one expired, Joe and I got re-fingerprinted (although, last time I checked, I had the same exact fingers and prints) and submitted our new I-600A (which is the application for the I-171H) with a nice fat fee of $545.00. Yup, that's right, that much just to get a new form with a fresh expiration date. We also contacted our home study agency to arrange for an update so we could get a new court certification (a requirement to get a new I-171H). Cha-ching...another $600 for that.
Months later after getting everything done, still no I-171H in the mail. After contacting our local USCIS office (US immigration) by e-mail I find out that they never got the court certified home study. I'm thinking, okay this will be easy...I'll just call my home study agency and make sure they sent it. Well, come to find out that's not part of their service and they refer me to my placement agency. Guess what? No luck there either.
So, okay, I decide to take my afternoon off to head over to the USCIS office in downtown Phoenix. Just to get in the door, I need to navigate through major light rail construction, traffic jams everywhere, an over zealous security guard out front who makes me dump the contents of my purse on the table, then I need to strip every piece of jewelry and my belt off to make the damn metal detector stop beeping. I finally get into the building, locate the right window and stand in line. ALL this to find out that they won't accept the homestudy and my cover letter in person. They tell me I need to mail it in. With that, she gives me a little slip of paper with the address of the VERY building I'm standing in and tells me "you'll have to mail it in, we don't accept them here." I'm thinking, what the hell are you talking about...you won't accept them here, but I should mail it here??? Talk about the ultimate red tape! I said, "you're kidding, right?" and she just shook her head no. Is it me, or is this just a little crazy? To top it all off, on the way out they charged me for parking...one last jab!