US Immigration News

FAQs About the USCIS Biometric Collection Process

3 minute read
"The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have started allowing immigration applicants to reschedule their biometric collections appointment by calling the USCIS Contact Center instead of submitting a request in writing."
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Oct 15, 2021
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The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have started allowing immigration applicants to reschedule their biometric collections appointment by calling the USCIS Contact Center instead of submitting a request in writing. They have also suspended the biometric requirements for certain nonimmigrant visa applicants in May 2021. 

Certain visa applicants are required to submit their biometric information after applying for a US Visa. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the USCIS is continuously updating its policies. However, the general process of biometric collection remains the same. The USCIS is legally allowed to collect biometric information from a sponsor, beneficiary, petitioner, applicant, or any other individual residing in the US for immigration purposes. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About the USCIS Biometric Collection Process

What is a biometric collections appointment?

Generally, the visa applicants required to submit biometric information receive a Form I-797C, Notice of Action from the USCIS. This notice will include the time, date, and location of your biometric collections appointment. 

What is biometric information?

Biometric information includes your photographs, fingerprints, and digital signature.

What is a digital signature?

A digital signature is required to reaffirm the fact that all the information provided by the applicant on their application, petition, or request, along with the documentation is complete and accurate at the time of filing. It is required for certain forms and applications. 

Where is a biometric collections appointment usually held?

Your biometric collections appointment will generally be held at your nearest Application Support Center (ASC).

Why is biometric information required by the USCIS?

The biometric information is collected to allow USCIS to confirm the applicant’s identity and conduct a thorough background and security check.

What do you need to carry with you to the biometric collections appointment?

You will be required to carry the following documents to your appointment:

  • Form I-797C, Notice of Action
  • Valid photo identification, for example, your passport, green card, or driver’s license

What will happen at the biometric collections appointment?

First, you will be required to submit your biometric information on a machine and provide a digital signature. This information will be used by the USCIS to verify your personal information and identity and also to check if you have any past criminal history.

Can the candidates change their personal information?

The USCIS will not accept any requests to change the personal information of the candidate, for example, their name or other personal information. As the ASC appointment notice is sent based on the information provided by the applicant on their visa application or petition, it can not be changed.

Does the USCIS allow walk-ins for biometric collections appointments?

Currently, the USCIS does not allow candidates to walk in for their biometric collections appointment due to the ongoing pandemic. You can only visit the ASC on the time and date specified on Form I-797C.

Does the USCIS offer any support for disabled people?

Disabled people can check out a notice on the USCIS’s website titled ‘Notice for People With Disabilities.’ This notice guides disabled people who need special accommodations. If the candidate is unable to leave their house or hospital due to a serious medical condition, then the appointment will be scheduled at their residence. The candidate will be required to submit an electronic request on the USCIS website or contact a USCIS Contact Center.

How to reschedule a biometric collections appointment?

If you have a good reason for missing your scheduled appointment, then you may request to reschedule your appointment by contacting the USCIS Contact Center. However, you must have a good cause for rescheduling the appointment. If there is no good reason, then the USCIS will not reschedule your appointment and your application will be considered abandoned. 

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