UPDATE: USCIS to Publish Revised Form I-539 and New Form I-539A on March 8
Pasricha & Patel Takeaways:
USCIS has announced that it is publishing a new version of the form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, as well as adding a new Form I-539A, Supplemental Information for Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, to replace the previous version of the Form I-539 supplement A.
What is significant about these updated and new forms is that: (a) each co-applicant that is included in the primary applicant’s form I-539 will need to sign a separate form I-539A (note: parents or guardians may sign on behalf of children under 14 years old or for any co-applicant who is not mentally competent to sign; (b) each applicant and co-applicant must pay an $85.00 biometric services fees (except certain A, G, and NATO nonimmigrants); and (c) every applicant and co-applicant will receive a biometric /fingerprinting services appointment notice, regardless of age, and each with their individual receipt number. And the biometric services appointment will be scheduled at the Application Support Center (ASC) closest to the primary applicant’s address in the U.S. (note: those co-applicants who wish to be scheduled at a different ASC will need to file their own separate form I-539).
USCIS also announced that these new forms will take effect on March 11, 2019 (it will become available on March 8, 2019). But the USCIS will allow a 2-week grace period until the close of business day on March 21, 2019 to accept the old version of the form I-539. And then starting on March 22, 2019, the USCIS will only accept the revised form I-539 (with an edition date of 02/04/19), and the USCIS will reject any Form I-539 with an edition date of 12/23/16, or earlier, that is received by USCIS after March 21.
While the revised form I-539 and the new form I-539 supplement A are not significantly different than the old versions, it is unclear why the USCIS is now requiring the capture of each applicant and co-applicant’s biometric information. This could add to longer processing times at the USCIS and it also will impact those I-539 filings for certain cases that are being filed via premium processing (as dependent family petitions). We will have to wait and see about the actual long term impact that this change will have on the overall USCIS processing times.
And readers can certainly keep up-to-date with any further news or changes with USCIS processing and policy changes by visiting our site regularly or scheduling formal consultation to inquire further with our firm.