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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 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]

    See Biden administration action below.

    View Policy Document View Policy Document View Policy Document View Policy Document View Policy Document
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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.

    USCIS Teleconference on Revised Form I-539
  4. Biden Administration Action

    May 13, 2021

    This Biden administration policy revokes 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 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.

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

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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