USCIS Biometric Center Reopening on July 20 (COVID)

USCIS is reopening biometric centers starting July 20. It will reuse old biometric for EAD extension if biometric appointment was after Mar 18.

Anil Gupta
  By Anil Gupta    Updated  13 Jul, 20


Update July 13, 2020 – People have started receiving Biometric appointment notices.

One of our guest reported that they received H4 Biometric appointment notice for NYC ASC center with fingerprinting scheduled for July 23. His H4 was filed in mid-feb.

The same person’s neighbor received Biometric appointment letter for B2 Extension as well.

USCIS ASC biometric centers are reopening on 20 July 2020 as per this schedule available on the USCIS site.

USCIS Biometric Center Reopening?

ASC centers reopening on July 20:

  • Phoenix (Arizona)
  • Norridge (Chicago)
  • Aurora (Denver)
  • Detroit (Detroit)
  • am22tech.com
  • Central Miami (formerly Hialeah ASC), Tampa, West Palm Beach (Florida)
  • Long Island (New York)
  • Morrisville (North Carolina)
  • Duluth (Minnesota) – Part-time ASC (one week per month) will reopen to the public on 08/11/2020

Reusing Old Biometrics

Some people have reported on June 29, 2020 that when they requested Congressman to expedite their H4 + H4 EAD, they got the reply that USCIS is not reusing bometrics anymore. USCIS has not officially published anything but some users reported it to us.

Earlier, USCIS announced that they will reuse H4, L2, and B1/B2 biometrics if you ever gave them at an ASC center earlier in the USA.

One of our guests shared that USCIS is sending the official letter as and when they reuse the fingerprints.

Biometrics are reused only if

  • Biometrics given at the US embassy VFS office outside the USA are not reused. USCIS only reuses fingerprints that are given at an ASC center.
  • Fingerprints were taken for the same type of application earlier.
  • Biometric given at ASC center for Canada or UK visa will not be reused for US visa extension.

Many people have reported that USCIS approved their EAD expedite request if their employer is in the Healthcare sector or they are themselves working in the medical field. This is probably due to the current Coronavirus pandemic emergency.

FAQ

Can I visit or request appointment at reopened center?

You cannot visit (walk-in) or request an appointment at any of the reopened center at this time. USCIS will decide.

I gave Biometrics in India, Will they be re-used for H4 EAD?

At this time, USCIS will only reuse your biometric if they were given at an ASC center in the USA

Biometrics in India is taken by the Department of State and not USCIS. The fingerprints that you give in the USA are taken by USCIS.

Both are different US government agencies and they do not share data as far as we know.

Many people give fingerprints at the US embassy before their H4 or L2 interview. Those fingerprints are not considered by USCIS.

What will happen to New EAD Applications?

If you filed a new EAD application, then you probably do not have any biometric in USCIS records. Your case may not be considered as per the announcement by USCIS.

When will USCIS reschedule my biometric Appointment?

USCIS will automatically reschedule biometric appointments when the ASC centers open again.

They will send the new appointment notice by mail within 90 days.

Will biometric cancellation delay H4 and H4 EAD approval?

The biometric appointment cancellation will delay your H4 and H4 EAD approval.

USCIS has announced on Mar 30, 2020, that they will reuse your old biometric given at USCIS ASC center within the USA for your EAD extension.

Will Standalone H4 EAD, L2 EAD processing be delayed?

Standalone H4 EAD and L2 EAD may not be affected as they do not need biometrics.

Will USCIS reschedule Canada, UK visa biometric appointments?

USCIS is will not automatically re-schedule appointments for Canadian and United Kingdom visa applicants.

You have to contact Canada and UK visa agencies for rescheduling your fingerprints appointments.

Will my H4 EAD be delayed if biometric is already completed?

We do not anticipate any delays if your H4 biometric has already been completed.
You can consider yourself lucky that your fingerprints have already been taken.

USCIS extends Biometric Cancellation Date

Earlier on Mar 25, 2020, USCIS has extended the cancellation of all biometric appointments from Apr 1 to Apr 7. Earlier, USCIS had closed all ASC centers starting Mar 18, 2020, until April 1.

The Apr 7 date can be extended if Coronavirus emergency is still active.

Note that there is no automatic 180-day extension available for L2 and H4 EAD dependents.

Check USCIS list of office closures.

Walk-In to Other Biometric Center

USCIS announced on Mar 17 that they won’t accept walk-in appointments due to Coronavirus threat.

On other normal days, many people have reported earlier that they were able to visit a different center than the one scheduled when they walked in at the closest center for their H4 biometric.

We recommend walking-in after 3 PM as this is the time that Application service centers have the lowest number of scheduled appointments. They are more eager to attend you if they do not have other people with appointments.

USCIS biometric centers take fingerprints for all types of cases including H4, L2, Canada visa and other US immigrant visa cases.

If you delay your biometrics by waiting for USCIS to reschedule an appointment, you will delay your case processing time as well.

Example:

H4 EAD approval can be delayed if H4 biometrics is not completed. Do you know that upgrading H1B to premium after biometrics increases the chances of EAD approval within 15 days?

Source: USCIS CoronaVirus Update.




Author

Anil Gupta
  By Anil Gupta           

Recent discussion on forum

  1. keto12
    keto12

    Has anyone receive biometric appointment notice yet? We applied for H4 extension at the end of March and still no notice for fingerprint appointment. I wonder if USCIS is sending out any appointments at all or it has come to a halt completely. Getting H4-EAD approved on time without that is out of question at this point.


  2. anil_am22
    anil_am22

    Hi @keto12

    People have started receiving biometric appointment notices if the ASC center at their location has reopened.

    Check on the article page for more information.


  3. AKS123
    AKS123

    HI Anil,
    Can someone directly visit the ASC office after 3 PM without any invitation letter?
    He might have only copy of the receipt. Or invitation letter is a must.
    Thanks.


  4. anil_am22
    anil_am22

    You cannot walk-in during COVID-19 emergency.

    These are not normal circumstances.


  5. optimistic91
    optimistic91

    @Anil.Gupta I have a question, My husband and I recently filed for L1, L2, L2 EAD extension in May 2020, his L1 extension application is still pending. I want to know if we get biometrics appointment only after primary applicant(My husband’s L1 in this case) is approved? Or I can expect getting the biometric appointment even before that?


  6. anil_am22
    anil_am22

    You can get biometric appointment irrespective of L1 application status.


  7. waiting4GC
    waiting4GC

    Hi,

    I applied for H4 extension in March (Receipt date: March 12). Even after the San Jose ASC has opened, I did not receive the rescheduled biometrics appointment. Is there anyone who received appointment notice? I don’t think USCIS is sending appointments in the order received because I read in other forum that those who applied in May are getting biometrics appointment. Please share if you know in what order they are sending the appointment letters.

    Thanks!


  8. keto12
    keto12

    Has anyone received biometric appointment? It’s been 6 months since I applied and no updates yet…


  9. aakarsh.gupta8
    aakarsh.gupta8

    HI There

    When can I expect a biometrics appointment schedule for dependent? My receipt date is 15th July. The USCIS website doesn’t mention the processing time of such applications/notices.
    What is the usual lead time?


  10. subash
    subash

    Hi,

    I have applied for H4 cos from H1 in the month of June 2020. I received the receipt number but not the biometric appointment notice yet.

    Could you please let me know how many days it might take to receive appointment letter.
    My application went to Nebraska service center.

    Thanks,
    Sindhu.


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