Hello and As-Salamu-Alaykum:
When we were starting our Pakistan adoption, my husband and I combed thru the Internet to find out what to expect in Pakistan when we landed there. There is very little information out there as to what to expect, so here are the things that we experienced.
We completed our home study with New Beginnings, and we received I-600-A approval from USCIS. We received an email from the US Embassy in Islamabad informing us what we needed to do to complete the adoption process. Once we received the I-600-A approval, we traveled to Pakistan to apply for an orphan child to adopt.
Our placement was done through the Edhi Foundation in Karachi, hence all our information is about Karachi:
First and foremost, it very important that your Pakistani IDs are up to date. If not, then you have to go to the National Database & Registration Authority website to apply for one. It takes 2 to 3 weeks and believe me, you do not want to apply while there because it’s very hard to get answers in Karachi. You need your NADRA IDs so the child’s B (BA) Form can be issued. This is the form used in Pakistan to identify the child. Once the B form is issued by NADRA, you can apply for the child’s passport.
Once a child has been identified, the Edhi Foundation gives you a Letter stating the child has been released by them to your custody. You need it to get a birth form issued; the girls in the Edhi office will give you the address. Make sure that all the spellings of the names and dates are correct because that can cause a problem.
Two things must be done after you get the child’s birth certificate. These can be done simultaneously:
1) Apply for the passport (B Form needed, available from the NADRA Office) and
2) Apply for legal guardianship.
The B form application has to be attested from a 16-grade government officer or higher before you can submit it. The B form took around a week to get it. Once you have the B form you can apply for the passport.
1) Applying for the Passport: To apply for the passport, you need both your and your Spouse’s NADRA issued IDs and the child’s B form. The passport office has very long lines (extremely crowded) so get there as early as possible; they really don’t care if you have a small child with you. You have to be there all day, so go prepared, take snacks and water (very Important), again here you need to get the passport form attested by a 16 grade government officer or higher, and you need to show both your NADRA issued IDs. If you don’t have your NADRA issued IDs then it’s a problem.
2) Applying for the Legal Guardianship: Once you have the birth certificate, you have to apply to the Family Court to become the legal guardian of the child. Here you need a good lawyer (Edhi Foundation can recommend one), you will need the original release letter from Edhi Foundation, the Power of Attorney from your spouse if he is not with you and both of your NADRA ID’s. It took us three court dates to get the Legal Guardianship and the No Objections order, but we only had to go twice. After the final court date, we got all the paperwork including the Application, the newspaper ad (original and translated), and the witness statement from Edhi. Our lawyer gave us 3 court certified copies of all the paperwork.
Once we had all the paperwork from the court, we sent it to New Beginnings in the USA to help apply for the I-600 approval. We got our approval after 6 weeks. Then we got an email from the US Consulate of Islamabad asking for the same list of paperwork. Here we were confused as why do they need all this paperwork again? It is because the visa packet they issue contains all these copies, which is sealed and is opened by the immigration officer in USA. So they do not know what is been received.
We also received a National Visa Center email giving us the Embassy Case # and Invoice ID#. We forwarded that email to our adoption agency in the US, and they helped file the DS-260 visa application for us.
Since we had our approval of the I600, the only thing we needed to get done was the medical check up of the baby and the passport.
The consulate provides the names of the approved hospitals where you can get the medical checkup for the child. As soon as you get the appointment letter, make an appointment at one of those hospitals, because it takes time to get the medical done.
Then, we sent the originals and one copy of all the documents, by a courier service provided by the Consulate. It took another four weeks to get an appointment (visa interview) with the US Consulate of Islamabad. The interviewing officer gave the originals back to us on the day of the interview and we received our child’s visa.
You will have to go to Islamabad for the interview because that’s where all the IR4 visas are issued. Hope this will help you. Good luck.