The following letter was received today at PEAR today addressed to all Stakeholders on Ethiopia Adoptions:
A USCIS team of four officers arrived in Ethiopia and began working at Embassy Addis Ababa on November 7, 2011. As of the date of this notice, the team has received 63 “not clearly approvable” cases from Embassy Addis, and expects to receive at least 1 more case before they depart on Friday, November 18, 2011. The following provides a summary of the results of the team’s review of the cases as of November 15, 2011:
Approvals Issued: 36
Requests for Evidence Issued: 9
Notices of Intent to Deny Issued: 1
Under USCIS Team Review 9
Pending Birth Relative Interview 8
Pending Physical Transfer 1
During the team’s first days in Addis, they began reviewing the cases, and established procedures necessary for completing adjudication and issuing notices. Embassy Addis is providing the resources necessary for USCIS to be able to adjudicate the not clearly approvable cases. Although the team has encountered some technological challenges, the team has been issuing decisions and notices as soon as they are able.
All cases that the team is able to approve before they depart from Addis Ababa will stay with the Consular Section in Embassy Addis Ababa, for immediate scheduling of immigrant visa processing. Families that receive an approval notice will be contacted directly by the U.S. Embassy within three business days. We strongly recommend that families wait to be contacted regarding an immigrant visa interview before making travel arrangements. Cases that require a Request for Evidence or a Notice of Intent to Deny will be sent to the USCIS Rome District Office for further processing.
Each family that received a Request for Evidence or a Notice of Intent to Deny should carefully read the instructions regarding where to send additional evidence to avoid delays in processing that could be caused by sending the evidence to the incorrect USCIS Office. USCIS has decided to utilize additional resources at the Rome District Office in the ongoing processing of some of the affected cases in an effort to ensure that they are processed to completion as quickly as possible.
In the coming weeks, USCIS and DOS will schedule another stakeholder call to provide a briefing on the team’s work in Addis Ababa, and an update on how processing will proceed going forward for any new cases identified by Embassy Addis Ababa as not clearly approvable.
Office of Public Engagement
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.