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  • Writer's pictureTanya Powers

USCIS Temporarily Suspends Biometrics Requirement for Certain Form I-539 Applicants

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that they will temporarily suspend the biometrics submission requirement for certain applicants filing Form I-539, Application To Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status who are requesting an extension of stay in or change of status to H-4, L-2, and E nonimmigrant status. The suspension will be effective May 17, 2021. USCIS will allow adjudications for those specific categories without capturing biometrics. This suspension will be in effect for two years unless the USCIS director decides otherwise.

This suspension will apply only to the specified categories of applications that are either pending as of May 17, 2021 and have not yet received a biometric services appointment notice; or new applications postmarked or submitted electronically on or after May 17, 2021.

Despite the suspension, USCIS retains discretion on a case-by-case basis to require biometrics even if the applications fall within one of the specified categories.

USCIS stated that Form I-539 applicants who have already received a biometric services appointment notice should still attend their scheduled appointment.

According to USCIS, effective May 17, 2021, Form I-539 applicants meeting the criteria above are not required to submit the $85 biometric services fee for Form I-539 during the suspension period. USCIS announced that they will return a biometric services fee if it is submitted separately from the base fee. USCIS also announced that they will begin rejecting paper Form I-539 applications postmarked May 27, 2021, or later (while this suspension of the biometrics requirement is in effect), if applicants meeting the above criteria submit a single payment covering both the filing fee and the $85 biometrics services fee.

For more information, visit the USCIS news alert.

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