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

  1. Date Announced

    Feb. 11, 2019

    On February 11, 2019, USCIS announced that it has revised Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status and that it 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]

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  3. Subsequent Action

    March 1, 2019

    On March 1, 2019, in response to public concern, USCIS announced a revised rollout period for the new edition of Form I-539 and new Form I-539A. USCIS indicated that:

    • USCIS will continue accepting Form I-539 with an edition date of 12/23/16 until March 21, 2019, as long as it is received by USCIS by that date.
    • USCIS will reject any Form I-539 with an edition date of 12/23/16 that is received by USCIS after March 21, 2019.
    • Starting on March 22, 2019, USCIS will only accept the revised Form I-539 with an edition date of 02/04/19.

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

Prior Policies

Subsequent Action

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 Provides Summary and Q&As to 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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