This checkmark didn’t come without difficulty though! The USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services) is not the easiest office to do business with!
Due to some changes with international adoption that will be implemented on April 1st, 2008, we really wanted to get the paperwork turned in. Our completed homestudy, that we needed to file the immigration paperwork, came in the mail on Tuesday. I had some questions, but of course, the office has no direct number (at least not one available to us peons of the proletariat). I planned a trip Wednesday to the office (in Salt Lake) to file our paperwork. Wednesday morning, I was busily gathering all of the passports, birth certificates, and other paperwork that we needed. An hour and a half later, I found the USCIS office in Salt Lake. What is that I see — CLOSED?!?!? Open 7AM – 3:30PM on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Wait, it’s Wednesday — the office closes at noon on Wednesday?? Of course, this information isn’t available on the website, and there is no phone number. Who wouldn’t think that they could go to a US Government office at 1:30 in the afternoon? Oh well, looks like our paperwork isn’t getting filed today.
I was planning on heading to Yakima, WA on Thursday to help with some of the renovation at the Penning home. Oh, and I had a test in my Business Research class at 7:30AM. So, I took the test and headed straight to Salt Lake. Luckily, I saw the “OPEN” sign in the window. Once I got in, the process was somewhat efficient. I got to the counter within 10 minutes, but because the “local policy” differed from the instructions printed on the forms, I had to go to the bank for a money order (rather than paying with a personal check). Off to the bank I go (thank you Google Maps on my phone!). Money order in hand, I return to the immigration office.
The person behind the glass saw me come back in and I was able to get right back up to the counter. A few minutes, papers, and dollars later, and it was done! We now have our paperwork filed with the USCIS. Now we have to wait for them to send us some paperwork in order to get another set of fingerprints taken, which will then get us the all-important I-171 form that says we can bring the kids into the country! One more step closer!
(Then a 9 hour drive to Yakima. For joy.)