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USCIS requires biometrics for all applicants submitting Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status

  1. Original Date Announced

    February 11, 2019

    On February 11, 2019, USCIS announced it has revised Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status and plans to publish the revised form on the USCIS website on March 11, 2019. Starting on March 11, 2019, USCIS will only accept the revised Form I-539 and will reject any prior edition dates. USCIS also announced that it will be publishing a new I-539A, Supplemental Information for Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status that will replace the prior Supplement A. The revised Form I-539 has significant changes, including the requirement that every applicant pay a biometrics fee (with some limited exceptions) and attend an biometrics appointment, regardless of age. [ID #1315]

    USCIS to Publish Revised Form I-539 and New Form I-539A 02/04/19 edition of Form I-539A instructions 02/04/19 edition of Form I-539 02/04/19 edition of Form I-539 instructions 02/04/19 edition of Form I-539A
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  3. Biden Administration Action: Modified

    May 13, 2021

    2021.05.13 USCIS Temporarily Suspends Biometrics Requirement for Certain Form I-539 Applicants

    This Biden administration policy modified in part the Trump-era policy identified in this entry.

    On May 13, 2021, USCIS issued an alert announcing that it would temporarily suspend the biometrics requirement for a two-year period for certain applicants filing Form I-539, Application To Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, requesting an extension of stay in or change of status to H-4, L-2, and E nonimmigrant status.

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Current Status

Partially in effect
May 13, 2021
Acted on by Biden Administration

Original Trump Policy Status

Status: Final/Actual
Subject Matter: Non-Immigrant Visas
Agencies Affected: USCIS

Pre Trump-Era Policies

Commentary

  • AILA Requests Delay to Mandatory Effective Date of Revised Form I-539 and New Form I-539A

    On 2/21/19, AILA sent a letter to USCIS Director L. Francis Cissna requesting USCIS to delay the 3/11/19 effective date of revised Form I-539 and new Form I-539A and adopt a 90-day grace period until 6/9/19 to continue to accept the current version of Form I-539 and Supplement A (12/23/16 edition). AILA also requested that USCIS suspend the mandatory biometric appointment requirement, and corresponding biometric fee, for all I-539 applicants until the regulated public has had a meaningful opportunity to comment on this new requirement.

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  • USCIS Teleconference on Revised Form I-539 and New Form I-539A

    On March 1, 2019, USCIS held a teleconference to discuss revised Form I-539 and new Form I-539A. USCIS provided a summary and Q&As from the 3/1/19 teleconference discussing the revised Form I-539 and new Form I-539A. USCIS discussed the form and biometrics procedures and answered stakeholder questions.

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