• Update on Travel to Bulgaria for Adoptive Parents

    May 10, 2021

    There is an updated Bulgarian Ministry of Health (MOH) order issued on May 1, 2021 that makes it easier for citizens of many countries, including the United States, to travel to Bulgaria. American citizens traveling on a U.S. passport – including adoptive parents – are now excepted from the MOH order and may enter Bulgaria by presenting one of the following:

    • (a) a vaccination certificate for a completed vaccination course against COVID-19. The vaccination certificate is considered valid 14 days after receiving the final dose. The document should include full name of the vaccinated person as per the identification document, date of birth, dates the vaccine doses were administered, vaccine name and batch number, name of the producer, details of the vaccine certificate issuing authority and country; or
    • (b) a positive result from a PCR or antigen test for immunity for COVID-19 for persons who had the coronavirus infection not more than 6 months from the date they enter the country; or
    • (c) a negative result from a PCR test performed within 72 hours of their entry into the country or a negative antigen test performed within 48 hours of their entry into the country.

    For more Covid-19 information for Bulgaria, please visit the Embassy’s website: https://bg.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information and https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Bulgaria.html

    The information from our previous email dated January 20, 2021 is still valid: The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requires all air travelers, two years of age or older, to present a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of their travel in order to be admitted into the United States. This includes U.S. citizens and adoptees: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/testing-international-air-travelers.html.

    Immigrant Visa Unit

    U.S. Embassy

    Sofia, Bulgaria

  • USCIS Forms Update Notice

    April 21, 2021

    USCIS recently updated the following forms:

    I-600A Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition

    12/21/2020 11:22 AM EST

    Starting June 18, 2021, we will only accept the 12/21/20 edition. Until then, you can use the 12/23/16 edition. You can find the edition date at the bottom of the page on the form and instructions.

    I-600 Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative

    12/21/2020 09:45 AM EST

    Starting June 18 2021, we will only accept the 12/21/20 edition. Until then, you can use the 12/23/16 edition. You can find the edition date at the bottom of the page on the form and instructions.

    For more information, please visit the USCIS Forms Updates page.

  • India: New COVID Testing Requirements

    March 4, 2021

    U.S. Embassy New Delhi has informed the Office of Children’s Issues that India’s Civil Aviation Ministry in addition to requiring a negative COVID test result 72 hours prior to departure from the United States to India, a negative COVID test, taken up to 72 hours prior to departure, is now required to enter New Delhi from these five states in India:

    • Maharashtra
    • Kerala
    • Chhattisgarh
    • Madya Pradesh
    • Punjab

    Other domestic travel restrictions and requirements are currently in place for other states. Requirements for testing after domestic travel may impact prospective adoptive parents being able to visit children in orphanages in affected states. We caution that the situation is fluid and requirements could change rapidly with little to no notice. We recommend you monitor the embassy website for updates on travel requirements and restrictions, and to check the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare website for more information, as well as the website of the state to which you plan to travel.

    Sincerely,

    The Office of Children’s Issues
    U.S. Department of State

  • Free Webinar Series for Prospective Adoptive Parents

    NCFA Announces the Spring 2021 Webinar Series for Adoption Professionals and Prospective Adoptive Parents

    • Wednesday, March 10th at 1pm ET: Adoption of Children with Special Needs
    • Monday, March 29th at 5pm ET: Adoption Finance 101 for Prospective Adoptive Parents only
    • Thursday, April 1st at 2pm ET: Adoption Options for Members of the Military **One hour of free CE credit available!**

    All Webinars are FREE thanks to the generous support of Northrop Grumman. 

    Information and Registration is available at: https://adoptioncouncil.org/resources-and-training/

  • Requirement for Proof of Negative COVID-19 Test for All Air Passengers Arriving in the United States

    January 27, 2021

    If you plan to travel internationally, you will need to get tested no more than 3 days before you travel by air into the United States (US) and show your negative result to the airline before you board your flight, or be prepared to show documentation of recovery (proof of a recent positive viral test and a letter from your healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you were cleared to travel).

    On January 12, 2021, CDC announced an Order requiring all air passengers arriving to the US from a foreign country to get tested no more than 3 days before their flight departs and to present the negative result or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 to the airline before boarding the flight. Air passengers will also be required to confirm that the information they present is true in the form of an attestation. This Order is effective as of 12:01am EST (5:01am GMT) on January 26, 2021.

    More information on this order, including frequently asked questions, is available on the CDC website.

  • CDC Expands Negative COVID-19 Test Requirement to All Air Passengers Entering the United States

    January 12, 2021

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expanding the requirement for a negative COVID-19 test to all air passengers entering the United States.

    Before departure to the United States, a required test, combined with the CDC recommendations to get tested again 3-5 days after arrival and stay home for 7 days post-travel, will help slow the spread of COVID-19 within US communities from travel-related infections. Pre-departure testing with results known and acted upon before travel begins will help identify infected travelers before they board airplanes.

    Air passengers are required to get a viral test (a test for current infection) within the 3 days before their flight to the U.S. departs, and provide written documentation of their laboratory test result (paper or electronic copy) to the airline or provide documentation of having recovered from COVID-19. Airlines must confirm the negative test result for all passengers or documentation of recovery before they board. If a passenger does not provide documentation of a negative test or recovery, or chooses not to take a test, the airline must deny boarding to the passenger.

    This order was signed by the CDC Director on January 12, 2021 and will become effective on January 26, 2021.

  • Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Card

    According to the Embassy of India Consular Services:

    It is informed that VFS Global is the service provider for OCI services for the Embassy of India, Washington DC or its Consulates in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, New York and San Francisco. Its operations have started from 04 November 2020.

    All the OCI applicants are requested to visit the link https://visa.vfsglobal.com/usa/en/ind/apply-oci-services for details.

    Apart from the applicable Government of India OCI fees, the applicants will also be required to pay US$ 15.90 as service charge to VFS Global and US$ 3 as contribution to Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF).

    In case of any other specific queries related to OCI services, please email to fsoci.washington@mea.gov.in

    The details of the VFS Global Application Centre are as under:

    1025 Vermont Ave, NW

    Suite 320,

    Washington, DC 20005

    (It may also be noted that due to the ongoing Covid pandemic, there will be no walk-in service at VFS Global until further notice.  All applications shall only be dealt with by post.)

  • Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Card

    According to the Embassy of India website, Cox & Kings Global Services (CKGS) is no longer the service provider for OCI services for the Embassy of India, Washington DC or its Consulates in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, New York and San Francisco. The new service provider will start operations on November 2nd, 2020, the details of which will be provided in due course.  Until that time, OCI services will remain suspended, including OCI card applications and approvals.

    In case of any specific queries, please email to fsoci.washington@mea.gov.in

    You can visit the Embassy of India website to view the official statement and check for updates.  https://www.indianembassyusa.gov.in/pages/MjY

     

  • Congress Enacts Intercountry Adoption Information Act

    From the National Council For Adoption, October 1, 2020

    Yesterday, Congress enacted the Intercountry Adoption Information Act which is now awaiting the President’s signature to be made law.  The following is a description of this legislation by Congressional staff who worked on this legislation:

    The Intercountry Adoption Information Act would amend the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 to require the U.S. State Department to provide additional information on the following:

    • *Countries that have enacted policies to prevent or prohibit adoptions to the United States;
    • *Actions taken by the State Department which have prevented adoptions to the United States;
    • *The ways in which the State Department has worked to encourage resuming adoptions in both cases.

    This information is critical for American families to adopt from countries that have established barriers to adoption, such as Russia or Ethiopia, or other areas where the State Department has suspended intercountry adoption, such as abandoned children in Nepal. 

    You can read more about the Intercountry Adoption Information Act here.

  • Update: Indian Visas for Adoption Cases

    September 16, 2020

    From the U.S. Department of State:

    This is an update to our August 21, 2020 notice on the status of adoptions from India. Following discussions between Embassy New Delhi and the Indian government, Embassy New Delhi advises us that the Ministry of External Affairs has agreed to issue visas to adopting parents to allow them to travel to India and finalize their adoptions. We have shared this update with the relevant Adoption Service Providers, so that they can work with their families who are ready to travel.

    While the above information states that adoptive parents can travel to India to finalize their adoption, agencies received further clarification from the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, Immigration Visa Unit:

    I am reaching out to let you know that we received confirmation from MEA today that they are ready to begin issuing visas to U.S. adoptive families! The Indian Government has agreed to approve the visa applications only for families whose adoptions have been finalized, and they tell us that they have passed this information on to their consulates.  Please reach out to your families and let them know they can submit their applications.  Let me know if any families experience any difficulties or are denied visas, and we will raise it with the Indians.

     If you have a family who needs to travel to attend a court hearing, unfortunately they will have to keep waiting to apply for their visas.