CS 253P International Case Processing – Foreign Reciprocating Countries
New 06/15/18/18 Training Completed 06/29/18
Introduction and Statutory Authority
The Utah Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) 2008, effective July 1, 2015, provides child support agencies with additional support for processing international cases.
The United States (U.S.) has entered into bilateral arrangements with several countries and Canadian provinces. For a complete list of these countries and provinces, refer to the Intergovernmental Reference Guide (IRG) at https://ocsp.acf.hhs.gov/irg/welcome.html.
Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 654(32)(A) each state must:
“provide that any request for services under this part by a foreign reciprocating country, a foreign treaty country, or a foreign country with which the State has an arrangement described in section 659a(d) of this title shall be treated as a request by a State. . . .”
Pursuant to 45 CFR 303.7(a)(4), states must:
“Use federally-approved forms in intergovernmental IV–D cases, unless a country has provided alternative forms as part of its chapter in A Caseworker’s Guide to Processing Cases with Foreign Reciprocating Countries. When using a paper version, this requirement is met by providing the number of complete sets of required documents needed by the responding agency, if one is not sufficient under the responding agency’s law. . . .”
A Foreign Reciprocating Country (FRC) may request that a state use a particular FRC-specific form (e.g., Canada).
Canadian Provinces/Territories forms: All of the reciprocating Canadian provinces and territories have agreed to accept the federal intergovernmental forms. For additional information on what forms are required for each province/territory, refer to A Caseworker’s Guide to Processing Cases with Canada, https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/programs/css/a_caseworkers_guide_to_processing_cases_with_canada.pdf. To determine if the province/territory is part of the federal reciprocal agreement, refer to CS Appendix K-01 International Matrix – Countries and Locator Codes, the IRG, or OCSE’s international website found at https://www.acf.hhs.gov/css/partners/international.
1. Interstate: To Obligee, Referral Sent Letter. Send this letter to the custodial parent (CP) when you make an international referral to a foreign country. The letter notifies the CP of the referral to a foreign country.
2. International: To Foreign Country Letter. Send this cover letter to the foreign country along with the international referral packet.
3. Child Support Enforcement Transmittal #1 – Initial Request Form. Send this form to the foreign country along with any other necessary or required forms and documentation as listed in CS Appendix N UIFSA Forms Matrix. For more information refer to CS 250 International Enforcement Resources, and CS Appendix L-01 Child Support Enforcement Transmittal #1 – Initial Request. The QIIT form provides basic case information and is used to inform the responding country of the services that are being requested.
Procedures – Foreign Reciprocating Country
If a non-custodial parent (NCP) is a citizen of and/or lives in a foreign reciprocating country (FRC), you may need to send a request to that country for a support order and/or enforcement actions. For a complete list of foreign reciprocating countries, refer to OCSE’s International website found at https://www.acf.hhs.gov/css/partners/international, specifically the section regarding FRCs and the Intergovernmental Reference Guide (IRG). Prior to sending the request to the FRC, determine if there are any in-state remedies that may be available to use (e.g., if the NCP has dual citizenship and is employed by the U.S. military, send a direct income withholding notice to the appropriate military office, when possible).
If you have determined it is necessary to send a request to an FRC:
1. Refer to OCSE’s international website at https://www.acf.hhs.gov/css/partners/international. Click on “Foreign Reciprocating Countries (FRCs).”
2. OCSE has provided a caseworkers guide for processing cases with each FRC, click on the appropriate FRC and follow the directions found in the guide to process the case.
3. Complete the required forms and generate the International: To Foreign Country letter to send to the foreign country.
4. Forward a copy of the referral to the Central Imaging Unit (CIU) to be imaged. Attach a copy of the ORS Imaging Header Sheet to the intergovernmental packet with a black clip.
5. Provide the foreign country with the appropriate number of the complete set of required documents needed pursuant to 45 CFR 303.7(a)(4).
6. Send the original international packet, including the required number of copies, to the foreign country’s Central Registry address. For address information, refer to OCSE’s international website or refer to the IRG.
7. Send the Interstate: To Obligee, Referral Sent letter to the applicant to notify him/her that the international referral has been sent to the foreign country.
8. Convert support orders to the equivalent dollar amounts:
a. Incoming cases – Convert the support order, including arrears or a judgment (pursuant to U.C.A. 78B-14-305(6), and 307(4)), into the equivalent dollar amounts under the applicable exchange rates; or,
b. Outgoing cases – Upon request, convert the support order, including arrears or a judgment, into the equivalent amount in foreign currency under the applicable exchange rates pursuant to U.C.A. 78B-14-304(2).
For example, if the support order is from the U.S. and you are sending a referral to Australia, upon Australia’s request, you must convert the current support arrears, and judgment amount into Australian dollars.
Some countries may proceed with enforcement without a translation of the referral and/or order, so the English referral forms and/or the child support order may not need to be translated into the language of that country. Refer to the caseworkers guide for processing cases for the specific country to determine whether that country requires a document to be translated. If the order is in English, you may be able to include a copy of the order that is in Content Manager. If the order is not in English, refer to the instructions below to determine whether ORS will facilitate the translation for the case file.
If the country refuses to proceed on the case without a translation, determine if the case is IV-A or non-IV-A.
1. IV-A – If the applicant is receiving a type of assistance that requires his/her cooperation with ORS and a formal translation of documents is required, consult with your Regional Director (RD) as ORS will need to facilitate translation of the documents at ORS’s cost.
NOTE 1: If an ORS worker can translate parts of the order that are needed to load the order into ORSIS, load the order based off of his/her translation.
NOTE 2: The above procedures are also applicable for cases where both parties (the NCP and the CP) reside in the United States and the order is in a foreign language.
EXAMPLE: The applicant is currently receiving Medicaid and is required to cooperate with ORS. Both the CP and the NCP reside in the State of Utah and the order provided by the applicant is in Danish. Because no ORS workers are able to translate the Danish order into English, and the applicant is receiving Medicaid, ORS will translate the order at ORS’s expense.
2. Non-IV-A – Notify the applicant that s/he must provide a certified translation of the order in order for the case to move forward. If the applicant:
a. Provides the certified translation – Send the appropriate paperwork and the translated order to the responsible agency or office in the foreign country; or,
b. Does not provide the certified translation – Because ORS is unable to take the next step on the case, prepare the case for CNC (Client Not Cooperating) closure. Document in the case narratives (for audit purposes) that you cannot make the referral because you have been unable to gather all the necessary documentation. Inform the applicant that s/he may reapply in the future when s/he has been able to obtain a certified translation of the order.
NOTE: If the NCP lives in another state within the U.S., but the order is not in English, do not translate the order before making an intergovernmental referral to that state. Refer to the procedures described above.
1. Requiring the physical presence of a party – Just as in intergovernmental cases, a IV-D agency cannot require the physical presence of a party residing in a foreign country. If it is necessary to have a party in a foreign country testify, apply UIFSA procedures found in U.C.A. 78B-14-316(6) as follows:
“In a proceeding under this chapter, a tribunal of this state shall permit a party or witness residing outside this state to be deposed or to testify under penalty of perjury by telephone, audiovisual means, or other electronic means at a designated tribunal or other location. A tribunal of this state shall cooperate with other tribunals in designating an appropriate location for the deposition or testimony.”
2. Timeframes and other services offered – IV-D agencies (such as CSS) must meet all federal intergovernmental timeframes when working with foreign reciprocating and foreign treaty countries. Foreign countries are not bound by the same regulations. Provide the same services on international cases as are provided on in-state or intergovernmental cases.