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H4 Biometrics with COVID : USCIS reused previous – Sample Notice

Since the introduction of Biometrics Process for I-539 form, it has become mandatory for many visa holders such as H4 Visa holders to give biometrics for their extensions and Change of Status (COS) applications with USCIS. With COVID-19, USCIS offices and ASCs were closed and none of the H4 or H4+ EAD applicants could give biometrics.  

USCIS indicated that they would be able to reuse old biometrics, if someone had given the same in past…There was no full press alert by USICS on the same. So, we had no confirmation on the same from community. Thankfully, one our readers, Sudha shared today that they received USCIS I-797 Notice of Action indicating that USCIS will re-use the previous fingerprints and other biometrics info that was given as part of their previous biometrics appointment at ASC.  Thanks much to Sudha for being kind enough to share a copy of the same for our blog readers and community to see it. We really appreciate it ! Also, they have shared how the status looks online on USCIS website after this notice was sent.  This notice very likely is some positive hope for many waiting.

USCIS Status update, if Biometrics were reused for your H4 Application

Below is the USCIS Online status that you would see, if they are going to re-use the biometrics that were given by you.  It will say “Case Was Updated To Show Fingerprints Were Taken I-539”. Below is the exact screenshot and the text.

“As of  XXXXX, 2020, fingerprints relating to your Form I-539, Application To Extend/ Change Nonimmigrant Status, Receipt Number XXXXXX have been applied to your case.

If you move, go to www.uscis.gov/addresschange to give us your new mailing address.”

H4 I-539 Status - Case Was Updated To Show Fingerprints Were Taken USCIS

USCIS Receipt Notice, if Biometrics reused for H4 Application

The I-797A Notice of Action from USCIS would clearly tell that they will reuse the biometrics given in the past. Below is the exact text that it will say

“… USCIS is able to reuse your previously captured fingerprints and other biometrics. USCIS will run the same security checks and use your biometric data as in past, however, it is not necessary for you to appear as ta USCIS Application Support Center (ASC) for a biometrics appointment. The Biometrics fee will not be refunded…”

It will indicate that USCIS will continue to process your application, petition. Below is the exact notice mailed by USCIS.

H4 Biometrics Reuse Status by USCIS - Notice I-797C

Did you give Biometrics in past and see the same status like above for your H4 ? Share your thoughts, experiences in comments.


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  1. My wife’s H4 extension fingerprints have been taken in Feb 2021 but status still shows
    Case Was Updated To Show Fingerprints Were Taken.
    For son who is minor< 5 years status shows
    Case Was Received
    There is no further update on this even after year.
    Does the status change after this ?
    Please guide

  2. When biometrics get reused yet you paid full price for having biometrics taken (that you already paid for once before, but now without getting the actual service…) I feel it’s a bit of a ripoff. With the n-400 the gvt should at least give you that as credit towards the cost of your first passport or something.

  3. How long does it take after biometrics to get i539 + ead approval?
    Thank you
    Mine were taken on September 27th and still waiting ?

  4. Hello Kumar,
    I applied for H4 Extension for my wife and daughter in Mar-2020.
    Center: California
    Received an I-539 receipt for this in Apr-2020. After no other response yet. I am still waiting for the Biometric appointment.
    Their visa expired in Aug-2020. Currently, they are in the grace period.

    Not sure how to expedite this.

    Moreover, my daughter’s passport renewal is coming in Feb-2021. For this, a valid legal status document(I-797) is required. At present, I have only I-539 receipt. Is it possible to apply passport renewal with I-539 document in case of further delay in obtaining the H4 Extension?

  5. Hi,

    We are still waiting for a reschedule notice for my wife (h4) since the ASCs opened after the pandemic shutdown. We reached out to USCIS and they asked us to reach back out after 90 days if we dont get a new notice. It is our first H4 renewal in the US, we have not previously had fingerprints taken in USA.

    In the meantime my wife’s H4 ended 7/31/20 and my H1B is approved for three more years. Is there any risk to status ? (the attorney does not seem to think so)

    Any advice / guidance is appreciated.


  6. Hi,

    My wife had two times fingerprinting taken in the Month of Jan at USCIS ASC center as they were unable to do FBI verification. Today, I received RFE stating I must submit local police clearance from each place we lived for more that 6 months in past 5 years including foreign addresses. I visited local police station but they have no clue about this to how to produce such certificate.

    • PP,
      I have not heard about this in the past. Check with an attorney. Take the letter that you got and ask them for the same. Can you share the RFE copy by removing personal info to redbus2us@gmail.com ? Let me have a look..

      • Hello RJ,

        I visited township police station with RFE document but they had no clue about Police clearance certificate. Finally I asked them to run a local criminal check using current and maiden names and birthdate. They gave me that report on the spot on township letterhead. Additionally, I got state police check using their website. Attorney did not ask state police report but I have sent them both and they are yet to submit the same to USCIS.
        Hope this helps.


        • Dear PP,
          Thanks you so much for your reply. I am little relieved now. I like to approach your attorney can you please send a test email to jaraju9@gmail.com so that i can share my phone number and talk to you little about this. Please help i am running out of time.

  7. Hi All,

    I received H1, H4 and H4 EAD receipt notices on Aug 14 but did not get receive any receipt for ‘Biometrics’ appointment notice or ‘reuse of previous biometrics’ notice .

    Should I talk to USCIS representative and ask them If they can reuse previous ‘biometrics given’ for previous H4 extension approval?


      • Thanks Kumar for the information, I made a call to USCIS and they confirmed that they are reusing previous finger prints.

        If I update H1B extension to PP now, will H4 and H4 EAD also gets approved with in 15 days?

        • Venkat.. Which Service Center was the H4 extension filed ? I have filed H4 extension along with my H1 on June 29 2020 (Vermont Service Center) and still not received any biometric letter. Reached out to USCIS and they have asked to reach back after 90 days from July 27 [ASC Reopening].

    • We applied for H4 and H4 EAD extension on April 29 and are still waiting for biometrics both expiring September 1. Anyway we can expedite the request for biometrics appointment?


  8. Hi All,

    H4 extension for me and my kid(10yr old) was filled on Feb 18, 2020. We did biometrics on March 12. Online case status for me shows ‘Case was updated to show fingerprints were taken’. but for my kid it shows ‘case received’. It doesn’t show updated status.

    We updated H1 to premium processing in July and H1 got approved in July but there is no update to H4 extensions :(. i-94 expiry date for me and my kid was March 1, 2020. So we are on 240 days extension.

    Also my H4-EAD went to California center on April 17. This is my first EAD request, is there any way I can expedite it? The link on redbbus for h4-ead expedition, is useful for EAD renewal.

    Is there any way I can expedite my first time H4-EAD and H4 Extensions?

    Appreciate your help!


      • Thanks for replying.

        To expedite my H4 extension and H4 EAD, I tried contacting congressmen. They are remote working, not available to talk directly. I left couple of voice mails and I received email reply that they are very busy with immigration issues and it may take 60 days for them to look into my case!?

        I am in Illinois. Does anybody has any good luck with Congressmen office here? Which Senator?


    • Hello Fellow Members,

      My questions is: Can H4 stay in USA after 240days of i-94 expiry?

      This time H4 extension is taking forever…

      Sequence of filings are:
      Feb-18-2020: H1, H4 Extensions filed on.
      March-1-2020: i-94 Expired. (now we are in 240 days rule)
      March-12-2020 : biometrics submitted for H4.
      July-5-2020 : H1 REF response with Premium Processing.
      July-2020: H1 is approved.
      August-31-2020: Called customer care to request for ‘Expedite Process’ for H4. And ‘Expedite Process Request’ is approved to extend h4 extension.
      Oct-27-2020: Query raised as why case is taking longer than normal processing time. ‘Expedite Process’ time of 45 days reached. 240 days has reached.

      Till Nov-3-2020: There is no update on the case. Out of 3 queries raised to know why case is taking longer than normal processing; I received reply for one saying.
      “Your case is currently with an adjudicating officer. You should receive a decision or notice of further action within 60 days.”

      Is it normal now a days to take such long time to approve H4 Extension?

      Also, H4 EAD California center is taking even longer than ever – it was 8 months time when I filed for H4 EAD and now website says – 12 to 15.5 months??

      Has anyone received the reply earlier?

      Appreciate reply!

  9. Hello Kumar,
    If I don’t get my biometrics done before my current EAD expire. Can I still expedite the request after job loss? If yes, what all documetns I will required?

  10. Great Congratulations to all who got updates and approval.
    I am in process of expedite my case, will update later today what happened.

    Finally, looks like things are moving. Hoping for the best for all.

  11. Hello Nims,
    Just type”Chat with live representative” in the Emma chatbox. The list of topics appears. You should click the topic “case status”. Then you can start to chat with a representative. It takes only 5 to 10 minutes to connect to the agent. Good luck!

  12. Hello everyone,
    I just got an update that my new card is being produced. My H4 status remains the same- ‘fingerprints were taken’. I got an online update and notice stating previous biometrics has been reused on my case. I expedited my case on July 24 using EMMA-live representative and picked financial loss from the list provided. They asked me to wait for 5 days to receive a response. Hope this helps.

    • Happy for you Congratulations.
      I tried using EMMA live but not able to go any specific output.
      Can you please guide what did you do to expedite.
      I appreciate I am waiting since May and there is no update after recipt.

      Thanks and GOD bless you.

        • Hi All,
          Desperately need your advice.
          Husband and I applied for H1 &H4 respectively and got receipt notices for both on 4/27/2020. Since then we have received no update. Waiting for biometrics appointment notice. This is for Vermont service center and nearest ASC opened on 7/13/2020. My EAD expires on 9/12/2020. How do you suggest to go about it at this point?

          • Aakriti,
            Not much you can do until you get Biometrics notice. Once you get it, then you can try to do the expedite of the same, if eligible. You can check for process on the blog

    • Hello,

      Congrats on your approval. Can you please give little more information about how you requested expedite?
      – Did your I-539 status updated to “previous biometric reused” and you requested I-765 expedite request AFTER?
      – Did you provide documents for expedite request or just chat with EMMA live representative?

      • April162020H4,
        Yes, I-539 status updated to “previous biometric reused” on May 21st and also got reuse notice. I expedited my case through EMMA live representative after reuse notice received. I didn’t get an email requesting documents after the expedite request. So I am not sure whether it’s approved through the normal process or expedite.

        • April162020H4,
          Most of the times, if your case is expedited or considered for the same, they would ask to submit documents or proof indicating your reason for expediting… There may be few exceptions, but that’s how the process works.

    • Hi all,

      Do anyone know if USCIS is still re-using previous finger prints? if not any eta for getting finger prints appointment?


        • Thanks Joana for the information 🙂
          *Submitted my info on Aug 16* Do you mean submitted docs for H4 extension to USCIS ?

          I sent H1,H4 and H4 EAD application (Normal processing) to USCIS on Aug 12 but did not receive H1/H4 receipt notices and H4 finger prints appointment or re-use notice yet.

  13. Hello everyone,
    Did anyone get their H4 approved after reuse of biometrics on H4?if your case got approved after receiving online update and reuse notice, please share. Your input is appreciated. Thanks

  14. Hi Kumar,

    My spouse H4 biometric status changed to “Case Was Updated To Show Fingerprints Were Taken” since they are going to use previous biometric. But there is no status change for my kid’s (7yrs old) H4 petition and haven’t received any notice on her name. Will they request for biometric for my kid alone now?

    • VisaExtn,
      It is hard to say, the online system status may not be accurate sometimes. Try calling USCIS once. Do update here as well.

      • Hi Kumar,

        For my Spouse, i did receive the notice saying, they will reuse the biometric and also status changed online too. But for my kid (7yrs old) doesn’t receive such letter or no change in online status.
        When i tried to check with USCIS helpdesk, they first mention there wont be biometric for kids and once again i told them usually for H4 even for kids they will do fingerprint! then they gave standard response, wait for a month and then see it!

        Kindly share thoughts what to ask to USCIS helpdesk and also anybody had received biometric reuse for both spouse and kid?

  15. Here is the official tweet from USCIS to reuse biometrics.


  16. I got receipt notice on 03/15/2020 for H4 extension. And I didn’t receive any update after that(like Biomterics Appointment request). And this my 1st extension after Biomterics process introduced.
    Please advise.

      • Hi Manoj,

        I am in similar situation. USCIS Received case on 05/28/2020 and Got receipt for H1&H4(spouse and child) around after a week and since then no updates. Please comment here if you have any update on your case. Also, H1 got approved last week in PP but H4 is still ‘Case Received’ no updates since then for both, H4 extension and nothing on biometrics also.

        Prayer for the best.

        • I am also on the same boat.
          Recipe notice June 5th and after that no updates on H4 extension. H1 was approved on June 22nd. Still waiting on Biometrics appointment.

          • Do we need to wait for the Biometrics to complete to expedite? or can we do it before?
            Can you please let me know what is the process to expedite? is it just an email?

          • czur,
            Usually they need biometrics to be done for expediting. We had some users tell their expedite was rejected as there was no biometrics done now or in the past.

          • I know its really annoying not to have any updates.
            But, Just now I talked to USCIS helpline number and they said that ASC center is closed and they planned to reopen on July 20, 2020. So you should receive appointment later after that.
            So now just praying and waiting.

            Please update if you hear anything from them.

            thanks and have a blessed day.

  17. Hi Kumar,

    I filled my H4 extension and EAD last month only with my husband’s H1 extension.
    June 5th receipt notice received
    June 17th I called Uscis to check on my Biomterics Appointment and they told me your Biomterics already on file. Also I requested expedite request which they filed
    June 18th my husband did PP for his H1
    June 22nd we got H1 approved
    June 22nd my expedite request status got change to completed and emailed received saying case is getting reviewed by officer and it will take 30 to 60 days.

    I don’t recall giving my biometrics in USA, so not sure how they have. I did call them multiple times and every time same response that we do have your biometrics on file.
    My current ead will expire on July 15th. Any idea how much more time it will take?

    • Hi Sai,

      Thanks for sharing your experience. I am in a similar situation. Can you please share the phone number you used to get in touch with USCIS? I also would like to find out more details about biometrics. I would greatly appreciate it and wish you the very best with your EAD! 🙂

    • Hi Kumar,

      USCIS is saying that they do have my biometrics on file but email to Congressman on my expedite request reflected that they don’t have my biometrics. Any idea why there is mismatch? I will be really appreciate for your response

      • Sai,
        Not sure, it could be simple email communication mismatch. What matters is, if you have given in the past…if so, they have it on file then…

  18. Hi Kumar,
    I expediated my case through congress man office since my biometrics has been reused on I 539 form. I got a notice from USCIS stating the same ( same one posted above). Today I got a response – “USCIS records confirm that an Application Support Center (ASC) appointment for biometrics capture has been requested for this case”. I do not understand what they are saying this. I have done biometrics last year at ASC center. Please advise.

    • (contd)….I also got this response from congressman’s office-“According to USCIS records, The service center attempted to reuse the biometrics data from a previous application. This was reflected on the constituent’s case online status. The reuse of prior biometrics was unsuccessful. We are informed that the recent directive pertaining to the reuse of biometrics data is currently not applicable to Form I-539 cases”.

      • Hi Marchh42020,

        Kindly let me know, if your status changed to “Case Was Updated To Show Fingerprints Were Taken” since they are going to use previous biometric? Also let me know, if this status change happen for your kid H4 petition too (in case if you filed it)?

        • My case was updated to fingerprints were taken on May 21 and also got a reuse notice on May 30. Based on the reuse notice, I expedited my case through senator and congressman in the month of June. I got a strange reply that they are not reusing it on I 539 currently and I need new biometrics. So, I am expecting a new one. My kids are US citizens. So they do not need it.

  19. Hi

    I have filed for H4 and H4 EAD in march, I got receipt received status in March. But since then there is no update. my ead will expire in sept
    Has USCIS ASC offices opened for Biometrics? Has H4 biometrics started yet?
    I heard there is some law suite going on, because of which there will be significant delays in H4 ead processing. Can you clarify if its true?


  20. I had my bimoterics Appointment on Mar 19th, and all USCIS offices were closed on Mar 18th, I never gave my Bio-metrics in US, did anyone try contacting USCIS regarding when they will be opening the ASC ?

  21. Hi, For what services should you have given the Biometrics. I had submitted those as a part of my UK visa application. Given to ASCs in the US. Does that count? Is there a way to find that out?

    • H4 Hopeful,
      It has to be given at ASC for USCIS related forms such as I-539. What you gave for UK visa does not work.
      The requirement is for extra security checks when using I-539 form and it is USCIS process.

      • Hi Kumar,
        My H4+EAD extension was submitted on May 08 along with my spouse’s H1B. On June 08 spouse’s H1B was approved. But My H4 and EAD status still shows “Case was received”

        I didn’t give biometrics for I-539 form before. But 10 year before I provided bio metrics info for L2 EAD in ASC. Will USCIS consider that biometric info for my current I-539 since all ASC is closed now?

  22. Those who got this notice. Did you submit your bio metrics at any point in time before this application? Also How long did it take for this notice?What was the initial recipt date for H4 and which center?

    • Hi Chinna/Sudha/Kumar, Can you please let us know your case received date so that we can compare our case status.


        • Please let me know if your case gets approved. when I tried to expediate my case through congressman when biometrics has reused to my case. I got the following response”We are informed that the recent directive pertaining to the reuse of biometrics data is currently not applicable to Form I-539 cases.” Thanks!

          • Hi,

            I just got an update on my H4 EAD receipt number as card being produced. However, no update on H4 receipt. Receipt date is on March 20th and had an update on H4 case that biometrics got reused on May 21st.

          • Chinna,
            I have seen these kind of cases in the past. Few times, you get H4 EAD first and then you get H4 approval. Logically, they should come in different order, but it can happen

          • Hi Chinna,
            Congrats!! I am so happy for you. Did you expedite the case through Congressman/senator/USCIS? Which service center is yours? My biometrics has been reused on May 21st. Didn’t hear anything yet. This gives me some hope. Thanks for your update.

    • Hi, have you done the prior biometrics in USA or outside USA? and when did you applied the extension? Just curious to know. Appreciate you response.

      • Hi Kumar,
        My COS from f1 to L2 is in process. They received my case on March 12th. And now when i check my case status, it shows fingerprint fee received. It’s been more than a month. But i have not received any appointment letter. Does it imply i have to give biometrics, and my case won’t be processed before that?

        • Prachi,
          Yes, you need to give biometrics, if you have not given at USCIS center in US before. Wait for the letter or call the USCIS customer service.

          • Thanks for your quick response Kumar. Surely i will give a call. As such all the ASCs are closed, i would like to wait for a week more before calling. Do you know What is the timeline like? For the decision? Mine is Vermont Center

      • Hi,

        I got an update Yesterday (july 23) on my H4 EAD receipt number as card being produced. However, no update on H4 receipt. Receipt date is on March 20th and had an update on H4 case that biometrics got reused on May 21st. I expedited on July 17th with Uscis and the expedite request got completed on July 20th without any other communication with me . Not sure if the status change is because of expedited request or not.


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