USICS biometric is required for all H4 and L2 extensions filed in the US. The same USCIS biometric centers are also used for i-485 green card fingerprints.
This article will discuss:
Biometric Appointment Letter Time
The biometric appointment is scheduled after an average of 17 to 20 days from the date of filing. It does vary for type of application and the workload at the ASC center close to your residential address.
- H4, L2 Biometric appointment letter can take anywhere between after 8-30 days of filing an H4 application. COVID has extended this time to about 90 days.
- i-485 biometric appointments take about average of 10-90 days.
- Biometric appointment notice (Form I-797C)
- Valid photo identification – Original – Green Card, Passport, US driver’s license, or state ID card
An appointment letter will be issued irrespective of whether H1B is approved or H1B gets RFE. Similarly, the i485 biometric appointment is issued irrespective of EAD and AP approval.
Do not miss your fingerprinting appointment as it may lead to denial of your application. There have been many cases of H4 and L2 extension denial when users did not receive the letter at all.
You can use this calculator to find out Biometric fee for H4, L2 and i-485 applications.
Calculate USCIS biometric Fee >
The app gives an estimate of USCIS as well as the fee charged by attorneys. The attorney fee is not mandatory and varies greatly with the immigration law firm.
There is no separate USCIS biometrics form.
You just fill the H4 extension form i539 and USCIS automatically creates an appointment for you. The smae is true for i-485 applications.
This is a sample Biometric appointment notice sent by USCIS for H4 extension application.
Your appointment notice (Form I-797C, Notice of Action) will include the date, time, and location for your ASC (Application Support Center) appointment.
What Happens at Biometric Center?
There is no dress code for Biometrics. Cell phones are not allowed inside the ASC center and should be left in your car.
The fingerprint process is simple:
- Fill an application information worksheet at the Biometric Center. Write your name, DOB, eye and hair color, height, and weight.
- You are given a token number.
- Wait for your turn and then they click your photo and take fingerprints.
- Make sure that your signature matches the one you did on your form i539 while filing the application.
- They stamp your biometric appointment letter.
- The status on the USCIS site may change to ‘Fingerprint Review was completed‘.
This stamped letter can be used in your child’s school leave application as a reason for taking off.
You can choose to re-schedule the Biometrics appointment if the ASC center is too far from your home.
We have seen that people are receiving an appointment at a center which is somewhere in Illinois which is 10 hours drive from where the person is physically located i.e. in Tennessee.
This could happen if your attorney used his OWN address instead of the user’s physical address to fill the form.
There is no USCIS biometrics fee refund if you do not appear for your fingerprints appointment.
You can only re-schedule your appointment without paying new fees of $85.
EAD Processing Time After Biometric
- i-485 EAD and AP can be approved without appearing for a Biometric appointment too. The general processing time is 15-30 days after taking your fingerprints.
- H4 EAD may be approved in 15 days after biometric. H4 extension is also processed at the same time as H4 EAD. The same timing holds good for L2 EAD too.
Biometrics are not required if you are filing only H4 -EAD application alone. Biometrics are not required for i-485 EAD and advance parole either.
If you are filing both H4 extension and H4 EAD, then the H4 extension needs biometric fingerprints.
Similarly, biometric is not required for standalone L2 EAD applications.
Biometric is required for everyone including children of any age.
Kids older than 14 years have to sign themselves at the Biometric center.
Children younger than 14 are not required to sign themselves at the ASC center. A parent can sign.
The biometrics fingerprinting process takes about 10 minutes to finish at the ASC center.
Walk-ins are allowed at the USCIS ASC center as long as you have an appointment letter.
You can visit earlier than your appointment date and preferably between 2 PM to 3.30 PM as the ASC centers have less traffic during this time. The COVID restrictions will affect walk-ins at each center. Please check with your ASC center before walk-in.
You can visit any ASC center closer to your home irrespective of the center where the appointment has been fixed.
One user shared that they gave fingerprints by walk-in to an ASC center in California even when her appointment was set up at Dallas center.
The Biometrics for the H4 extension filed using form i539 should be attended within the USA at this time.
H4 Extension Biometrics are taken by USCIS while you are physically present in the USA.
H4 visa stamp fingerprints are taken by the US embassy when you are outside the USA.