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)
- 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
This article will discuss:
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.
You cannot visit (walk-in) or request an appointment at any of the reopened center at this time. USCIS will decide.
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.
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.
USCIS will automatically reschedule biometric appointments when the ASC centers open again.
They will send the new appointment notice by mail within 90 days.
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.
Standalone H4 EAD and L2 EAD may not be affected as they do not need biometrics.
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.
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.
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.
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.