U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has reported struggles with delays in scheduling and re-scheduling biometrics appointments due to a combination of factors, including demand, capacity, restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and extreme weather.
Below are helpful tips for applicants, in a Q&A format:
- What are biometrics? Biometrics may include fingerprints, photographs, and signatures. They allow USCIS to confirm your identity and run required background and security checks.
- When do I need to provide biometrics? After you file your application, petition, or request, if biometrics are needed, USCIS will schedule your biometric services appointment at a local application support center (ASC), where your biometrics will be collected on machines designed for this purpose. USCIS will notify you by mail about your ASC appointment. USCIS will also notify you if it can reuse biometrics submitted previously.
- What do I need to bring to my biometrics appointment? You must bring your ASC appointment notice (Form I-797C) and valid photo identification, such as your green card, passport, or driver’s license. You may also want to bring a copy of your completed application, petition, or request, as USCIS does not provide copies at appointments.
- What happens if my biometrics appointment was canceled due to pandemic issues? USCIS will automatically reschedule it and will mail you a new appointment letter with specific safety requirements.
- What if I need to reschedule my biometrics appointment? You should notify the USCIS Contact Center at least two weeks before your appointment date, if possible.
- What should I do if a lot of time passes with no biometrics appointment scheduled? There are several options: (1) Call the USCIS Contact Center and ask for your call to be escalated to a Tier 2 USCIS Officer; or (2) File a case inquiry online, and confirm that your mailing address is correct.
- How do I expedite my request? If you need to schedule your biometrics appointment quickly, you can call the USCIS Contact Center, request an expedited appointment, and ask for your call to be escalated to a Tier 2 USCIS Officer if needed (and call back if the first person answering the phone refuses, or if it takes more than a week for the Tier 2 Officer to call you back). It’s helpful if you can include the expedite request in your application filing. Expedite requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.
For advice and help in a specific situation, please contact our office.