Over the last week, there have been two significant US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) policy and process changes regarding Application Support Center (ASC) biometric appointments.
What is an ASC biometrics appointment?
Whether an individual is applying or petitioning to extend certain nonimmigrant statuses, US lawful permanent residence, naturalization, asylum, or various other immigration benefits in the US, the beneficiary or applicant may be required to attend an ASC biometrics appointment in which USCIS collects anatomical and physiological data by which a person can be identified, including the collection of fingerprints, photographs, and/or signatures.
What are the recent USCIS policy changes regarding ASC biometrics appointments?
First, as of May 11, 2021, USCIS will no longer permit individuals to submit requests to reschedule ASC biometrics appointments in writing as previously required. Going forward, applicants, petitioners, requestors, and beneficiaries must now call the USCIS Contact Center (800.375.5283) and establish good cause for rescheduling their ASC biometrics appointment prior to the scheduled appointment. Failure to establish good cause to reschedule or to attend the scheduled ASC biometrics appointment may result in the denial of the underlying application, petition, or request.
Second, beginning on May 17, 2021, USCIS will suspend the biometrics requirements for certain Form I-539 (Applicant to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status) applicants, including those applying in the H-4, L-2, E-1, E-2, and E-3 categories, provided that:
- The application is pending on May 17, 2021; AND
- The applicant has not yet received a biometric services appointment notice; OR
- The applicant is not yet pending but is received by USCIS between May 17, 2021 and May 17, 2023.
Stay tuned for the latest from the Moodys immigration team as we closely monitor this legislation and other significant changes in US and Canadian immigration.