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USCIS to Suspend Biometrics Requirement for Certain I-539 Applicants Beginning on May 17, 2021

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Pasricha & Patel

USCIS has announced that it will soon suspend the biometric requirements for certain I-539 applicants for a two (2) year period starting on May 17, 2021 and lasting through May 23, 2022. The suspension of the biometrics requirement will cover applicants in the following visa categories: H-4, L-2, and E-1, E-2, and E-3 categories for filings that used the Form I-539, and apply to those applications that were either:

  1. Pending on May 17, 2021, and have not yet received a biometric services appointment notice,
  2. or New applications received by the USCIS starting on May 17, 2021 and lasting through May 23, 2022.

USCIS made this announcement through a formal court declaration and in response to a class action lawsuit that was filed by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and another law firm who were challenging the USCIS’s long delays in adjudicating H-4 and L-2 applications.

USCIS will have released more formal guidance in the coming days regarding this biometric suspension, including whether or not the USCIS will require the biometric fees to be paid during the period from May 17, 2021 through May 23, 2022. However, it is not expected that the USCIS will refund any fee payments already submitted to the USCIS.

Due to the fluid nature of the various changes ongoing at the USCIS with various rules and regulations, we do ask readers to continue to check back with our site for further updates.

Should you have any specific questions about your own case matter, we suggest you contact our office to schedule a formal consultation and we can assist you further.