US Immigration News

How the Process of Biometrics Information Works for US Immigration

3 minute read
"Are you in the process of immigrating to the United States? In the final stages of obtaining a US immigrant visa, applicants are usually required to submit their biometric information. Many foreign nationals are still in the dark about what takes place when biometric information is collected. "
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Jun 18, 2021
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Are you in the process of immigrating to the United States? In the final stages of obtaining a US immigrant visa, applicants are usually required to submit their biometric information. Many foreign nationals are still in the dark about what takes place when biometric information is collected. 

What Is the Process to Collect Biometrics Information?

Biometric information includes a person’s fingerprints and photographs for facial recognition. For immigration purposes, you must personally go to the Application Support Center (ASC) to submit your biometric information along with supporting documents such as your Employment Authorization Document (EAD), Advance Parole (AP), any application to adjust your status, naturalization form and Form I-539, Application to Change or Extend Nonimmigrant Status.

Due to the global pandemic, last year, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) was forced to shut down ASC and its other field offices. In June 2020, ASC was functioning partially keeping in line with the social distancing requirements. This led to many biometric information appointments being postponed last year that are yet to be rescheduled. 

The USCIS has indicated that they will automatically reschedule such appointments and send notifications for biometric reuse to eligible applicants. Currently, there is a backlog of approximately 1.3 million applicants to submit biometric information while over 10,000 appointments are being scheduled every day. 

What Is Biometrics Reuse?

Under certain circumstances, USCIS can reuse biometrics information submitted previously by the applicants to verify their identity and perform security checks. In such cases, USCIS issued a notification of reuse informing the applicant that they need not appear at the ASC to submit their biometrics information as the previous information is being reused. 

How to Reschedule Your Biometrics Appointment?

You are required to contact the USCIS Contact Center at least 2 weeks before your current appointment date to reschedule your biometrics appointment. If you have missed your biometrics appointment due to an urgent reason, you must inform the USCIS to get back in the biometric scheduling queue.

What to Do If Your Biometrics Appointment Is Delayed, Cancelled, Or Not Scheduled?

Here’s what you can do if your biometrics appointment is delayed, canceled, or not scheduled:

In case 90 days have passed since you filed your application and no biometrics appointment has been scheduled, you must call the USCIS Contact Center and request to be connected to a USCIS officer. You can request this USCIS officer to be included in the biometrics scheduling queue for the next available appointment. You can also file a Case Inquiry online through the USCIS website by using the “Case outside normal processing time” option if that is the case.

In case you need to expedite your biometric appointment for urgent reasons, you can call the USCIS Contact Center and place an expedited biometric appointment request to a USCIS official. You can also include the expedited request with the original application with the supporting documents. This is much easier than making a request later, to a new official. 

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