In an April 19 press release, US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) explains that they are extending the biometrics requirement suspension for some applicants that are filing a Form I-539 Application to Change/Extend Nonimmigrant Status if requesting a stay in or change of status to H-4, L-2 or E status. The suspension of the biometrics requirement was already scheduled to stay in place until May 17, 2023. It will now be extended through September 30, 2023.
USCIS states that those in the listed categories will be able to receive adjudication using background checks and biographic information alone, without capturing fingerprints or a photograph. However, the agency points out that biometrics information may still be required for certain applicants on a case-by-case basis.
Those meeting the requirements who are filing an I-539 during the biometrics suspension period will not need to pay the $85 biometrics services fee. If those meeting the criteria pay the biometrics services fee together with their I-539 filing fee, the paper application will be rejected and they will need to re-file. If they pay the biometrics fee separately from the filing fee, USCIS states that they will return the biometric services fee payment.
According to some immigration experts, there is a possibility that the biometrics suspension could become permanent, which would certainly be welcome news for applicants if it ends up becoming the case.
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