Thursday, August 7, 2008

Renewing Fingerprints

Our finger prints expire August 15th. So, being diligent we retook our fingerprints three months early May 15th. It took two months for the "processing paper work" to be completed (July 15th). The paper work clearly states that this "notice" was forwarded to the American Consulate in Guangzhou, China.

It was suggested by our adoption agency to double check with the National Visa Center to be sure the paperwork was received. It is the job, you see, of the National Visa Center to log and forward the documents to the correct Consulate. When I called the National Visa Center this week, they had no notes of it. OK, so I completely wigged. There is not much you can do; if the consulate did not receive my new fingerprints I would not be going to China to get my little girl until such time as the Guangzhou Consulate received and "Cleared" (whatever that means) my renewed fingerprint documents. After fours days of calling, I was rewarded with "they were actually forwarded on July 23rd." Yeah!!! So, now I know the consulate actually did receive my fingerprints only 2 and 1/2 months after I took them. It took 2 1/2 months!!!! Impossible! The document itself is only good for 15 months!! 2 1/2 months lounging in some stacked pile in some dark room!!! When I redid them I had no idea if we were going to get our referral in a week or in five more months. I am glad I did not wait.

Lesson learned: Don't wait until the bitter end to redo finger prints. Once you receive any processing notice from your local USCIS it is best to check on them and make sure that it does actually get processed. The number to the National Visa Center is 603-334-0700. Once you get through they will ask you for your case number. This is the same case number your received from the Consulate in Guangzhou. They will have no record of that number. Tell them it is regarding an adoption. Then ask them to state which document dates they list. Or you can list your I-171h or I-800 document dates for them. It seems that they really have no idea which document were sent or received just a date and a forwarding date it listed (I believe).

If we had waited until June 15th (two whole months before our prints expired) we probably would not be able to travel with our group to Nanchang. Instead, we would have had to wait until they (USCIS!) forwarded the document to the National Visa Center, "Cleared" then were forwarded to the consulate (Guangzhou), "cleared" and then wait to be scheduled when possible for my adoption agency to do so. I hope my writing makes some sense.

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