Temporary Suspension of Biometrics Submissions Extended for Certain Form I-593 Applicants
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced that it has extended the temporary suspension of the biometrics submission requirement for certain applicants filing Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, requesting an extension of stay in or change of status to H-4, L-2, or E nonimmigrant status. The previously announced suspension, which was initially in place until May 17, 2023, has been extended through September 30, 2023.
USCIS will allow adjudications for those specific visa categories to proceed based on biographic information and related background checks, without capturing fingerprints and a photograph. However, USCIS Officers maintain discretion, on a case-by-case basis, to require biometrics for any applicant, and applicants may be scheduled for an application support center appointment to submit biometrics.
USCIS also stated that if you are a Form I-539 applicant meeting the biometrics suspension criteria, you do not need to submit the $85 biometric services fee for Form I-539 during the suspension period. USCIS will return a biometric services fee if submitted separately from the base fee and will reject paper Form I-539 applications if you meet the above criteria and submit a single payment covering both the filing fee and the $85 biometrics services fee. If USCIS rejects your paper application because you included the $85 biometrics service fee, you will need to re-file Form I-539 to the agency without the biometric services fee.
Additionally, USCIS plans on establishing a permanent biometrics exemption for all Form I-539 applicants in the coming months.
If you have any immigration questions, please contact our office to set up a consultation with one of our attorneys today!