Thursday, January 29, 2009

U.S. Families - Information Needed - Please Assist

If you are a U.S. family who in the process of obtaining a visa for your Haitian adopted child had difficulties obtaining a visa appointment, had difficulty receiving replies to your inquiries, had the visa office lose part of your child's file, etc. can you please email me?

This includes families who already have their children home, who had their child's visa denied and who is still in the process of obtaining a visa.

Your persoanl information will be kept confidential and will not be released without your express permission. We are trying to compile a list of the numbers of families who had or are having difficulties in the U.S. visa process to show that these are not isolated incidences.

Thank you...

January 31, 2009 Update:
On a side-note. I have received several emails from families where the U.S. Consulate has requested the Archive certification of death or birth certificates. Please see the explanation below...

The U.S. Consulate or USCIS has the right to ask for birth or death certificates to have a half-page Archive attached or a full page Archive replacement.

An "Archive" is similar to having a certified birth certificate (or death certificate - for simplicity in explanation, I am going to merely refer to birth certificates - but the same process applies for death certificates as well).

In the cases where the U.S. Consulate or USCIS is asking for Archive documents, it actually surprised that the child's adoption file made it through MOI (passport approval) without a certified birth certificate.

When a birth certificate is initially issued, it is hand written. To the hand-written document, a half-page Archive paper is attached from the National Archive Office that certifies that the official who signed and issued the hand-written birth certificate is in fact an authorized official (they compare signatures).

However, if the birth certificate document is more than one year old, a full-page Archive document has to replace the hand-written birth certificate.

When the birth certificate is initially written, it is recorded in two log books (one of those books ends up in the Archive library in Port-au-Prince, and the other other one of those books ends up in the Ministry of Justice library).

Supposedly, a log book is made for each calendar year (January 1st through December 31st). Often, especially in rural areas, log books are kept longer because the respective tribunal offices may not have empty log books to replace them with.

When a full-page Archive is issued, the entire log book page regarding the specific birth certificate entry is typed (most recently via computer) onto a one page Archive document. This full-page Archive replaces the hand-written birth certificate as the hand-written birth certificate is no longer considered a legal document.

The problem is that often, especially when dealing with rural offices, the Archive log books cannot be located, are still stuck in the rural office, etc. Also, there can be a long wait for the full-page Archive to be issued.

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