As many of you know, USCIS changed the form I-539 for Extensions, added Biometrics, which delays overall processing of H4, even if it is filed with H1B in premium processing. Many are waiting for experiences and wanted to have a look at sample Biometrics Notice as well. One of our awesome readers, anonymous for privacy, shared a copy of the Biometric Notice as part of the new H4 and H4 EAD processing and shared his timeline. Thanks a lot to him for taking time to share his experience. We also have many users, who shared their experiences in the article and in comments. In general, biometrics is not required, if you are applying for H4 EAD only and not using I-539 form for H4 Extension.
Background of H4 Extension with New I-539 form filed with USCIS for Biometrics: Applied for H1B, H4 and H4 EAD together in Premium Processing at Vermont Service Center.
H4 Extension with USCIS – New Biometric Process
- You file the H4 application with New I-539 Form that includes additional fee for Biometrics
- Most of the cases, you file along with H1B. If H1B is filed in premium, you will get the H1B approved, and then H4 processing happens as it needs biometrics. USCIS guidance is that they will adjudicate it soon after biometrics are done.
- You get H4 Application Receipt along with H1B and EAD receipts
- You get the H4 Biometric Receipt physical copy in snail mail to visit Application Service Center (ASC) that has date and time
- If you cannot make it on the given day, you can request for re-scheduling.
- You visit ASC on the given day and time and give Biometrics.
- Your H4 Biometrics may go through criminal history check of FBI
- Decision on your H4 application with USCIS
- Physical copy of H4 Decision Notice mailed to your address.
The process is as it stands today, we will update it based on general users’ experiences as we go along.
H4 Biometric Documents Required at the Application Support Center :
- The Biometric Appointment Notice sent to you by mail
- Photo Identification Document issued by Government like below
- Driver’s License,
- National ID
- Military ID
- State Issued Photo ID.
- If you fail to get Photo ID, you will not be fingerprinted / allowed to take biometrics.
- It is recommended that you review that H4 I-539 application form that you submitted or sent to USCIS, so that you can confirm, if all the details are the same.
- Any additional Biometric forms : USCIS does not have any special biometric forms and there is no need to fill out any separate forms related to Biometrics to visit the ASC.
H4 Biometrics – Timeline with Premium Processing Petition – Based on Experience – #1
- Documents sent to USCIS Offices : March 26th, 2019
- Documents Received by USCIS at Vermont : March 27th, 2019
- All three (H1B, H4, H4 EAD ) receipts generated : March 28th, 2019
- Processing time – 1 day from documents received by USCIS
- H4 Biometric Notice was generated as well.
- H1B Petition Approved : April 3rd, 2019
- Processing time – 6 days from receipt generated date
- H4 Biometric Letter Received : April 5th, 2019
- Processing time – 8 days from receipt generated date
- H4 Biometric Appointment : April 19th, 2019
- Appointment date – 21 days from H4 receipt generated date
- H4 Biometrics Given : April 11th, 2019
- Walked in to a Application Support center, as they gave out of state location, ASC accepted it and gave biometrics.
- Travel out of Country in Ship – H4 I-94 updated : May 20, 2019
- Traveled out of Country and re-entered with valid H4 visa ( previous H4 stamp valid till mid July )
- CBP officer at port of entry gave I-94 with H4 on it until end of new H1B approved in April 2019.
- Technically H4 status is extended until end of H1B expiry.
- H4 EAD Decision Online : June 11th, 2019
- Online Status of H4 EAD Changed to “New Card is being produced” ( see below screenshot )
- H4 Visa Application I-539 form Approved : June 12th, 2019
- The status of I-539 Extension shows “Case Was Approved” on USCIS website. Yet to receive the notice. See below. We need to see what happens to I-94 number.
- H4 EAD Card, Physical Copy arrival [ Waiting ]
- Waiting for the physical approval copy and card.
H4 Approved Status Online
H4 EAD Status updated to Card Ordered
Experience of Giving Biometrics at Application Support Center
Giving Biometrics at ASC by H4 applicant is a very straight forward process. As mentioned above, you need required documents : Government issued Photo ID and Appointment letter. Below are the high level steps at ASC for biometrics
- Step 1 : You are given a Token Number and will be asked to fill a basic form
- Step 2 : You need to fill the form given to you, where you need to fill in information like Name, Date of Birth, Eye and Hair Color, Height and Weight, etc. Below is the sample shared by another user. Thanks to the user (anonymous for privacy) for sharing the form with the community.
- Step 3 : Your token number is called and they will take your Photo and Fingerprints
- Step 4 : They stamp your Biometrics Appointment Letter after the process is complete. The stamp indicates that your biometrics are taken proof that you visited the ASC. See below sample of the stamp given at ASC. Thanks to our user for sharing the stamped letter at ASC. At the end of article we have the full receipt notice with stamp as well for your reference on how it looks.
- Step 5 : Wait for the decision from USCIS. Your Biometrics status is may or may not reflect on the USCIS status. Sometimes, you will continue to see the status “Case Was Received” , which is the status before giving the biometrics.
- Update : One of our readers shared that they have seen a status update on USCIS that says ‘Fingerprint Review was completed’. So, some of you may say this status
- Step 6 : Decision from USCIS [ waiting for it. ]
H4 Biometrics Process Experience #2 – Approved H4 Timeline
Ram shared his experience Timelines on H4 + H1B with Biometric Processing. Thanks to Ram !
Service Center : Vermont
4/03 – USCIS received H1/H4 application in PP
04/08 – H1B Approved.
04/11 – Biometrics notice generated
04/18 – Received receipt numbers for H4
04/25 – Attended Biometrics.
05/16 – Received H4 Approval Notice along with H1 Copy.
- H4 Approved after almost 20 Days after giving Biometrics or about 45 Days from filing H1B + H4 together in premium
H4 Status still shows as “Receipt Received” as of May 22nd. Since we had India plans, we have requested H1 Copy so that the my spouse can carry it for stamping. To my surprise, i received H1 & H4 approval copies from attorney. Check out Sample H4 Approval Notice with Biometrics – shared by User
H4 Biometrics Experience #3
Thanks to other user, anonymous, who shared their experience with the community. Below is the process.
- Documents Needed : Passport, Appointment notice.
- Outcome: They will stamp acknowledgement of your attendance on same appointment notice
- Details of Biometric Process: Smooth process . No hassles. We went before they opened at 8:00 am and we got token number 3. So it was pretty quick .
- One minor issue: Wife did not have Alien number as she is not eligible for EAD yet. So they double checked her details and continued with process. Not any obstacle.
More experience below and in comments
H4 Biometrics USCIS Status – “Fingerprint Review Was Completed”
One of our readers, Navisha, shared that their status was updated on USCIS website after giving biometrics and it says “Fingerprint Review Was Completed ” and looks like below. Some of you may or may not see this, so nothing to worry. Thanks to Navisha for sharing the below.
What will USCIS do with the Biometrics given by you ?
USCIS may use your biometrics/ fingerprints to check criminal history of FBI. You may request a copy of your own FBI identification record using procedures listed at Title 28 C.F.R., Section 16.32. You may also get it corrected or updated as outlined within the same Title 28 C.F.R., Section 16.34.
H4 Biometric Appointment Letter from Application Support Center (ASC)
Even though some of you may know the standard Biometrics Letter from USCIS, it is good to re-confirm the same and have a look at the same ASC Appointment Notice . Again, thanks to our reader for sharing the Biometric Appointment Letter. See below screenshot at the end of article. It has the below details on the same
- H4 Petition Tracking Number
- Name and address of the applicant
- Application Support Center (ASC) Address
- Date and Time of Appointment at ASC
Key info from the Biometric Application Support Center (ASC) Appointment Letter :
It says that you to process your H4 application/petition with USCIS, you need to appear at the Application Support center of USCIS at given time and date and give biometrics. If you do not show up at the ASC, then your application/petition will be considered as abandoned.
Can I reschedule my H4 Biometric Appointment with ASC ?
Yes, you can request to reschedule your appointment, if you cannot make it to ASC on the specified data and time. The process is simple, you make a copy of the Appointment letter for your records, check the box as listed in the ASC Appointment Letter and mail the Original letter to below address:
- BPU, Alexandria ASC, Suite 100, 8850 Richmond Hwy, Alexandria, VA 22309-1586
Also, if you have open wound or bandage/casts, when you appear for appointment, USCIS may reschedule the appointment if they believe that they will interfere with taking the biometrics.
What if I am outside of the Country ? H4 Biometrics with Travel and outside of USA ?
As per USCIS guidance, on their I-539 form instructions (page 12), you should call up the nearest US consulate/ embassy and arrange for the biometrics. It says “If you are currently overseas, instruct you to contact a US Embassy, US Consulate or USCIS Office outside of United States to setup an appointment “, see below screenshot.
What are not allowed at Application Support Center for Biometrics ?
You cannot carry Cell Phones, Cameras or any Recording Devices to the Application Support Center (ASC), when you go for giving biometrics. Also, due to limited seating, they suggest that only person giving biometrics and who are necessary for transportation or helping with biometrics should be entering ASC.
Any questions on the H4 Biometrics Application Receipt or process – Customer Support ?
You can call the customer support at 1-800-375-5283, if you have any questions around your Biometric appointment Notice or any of the details around the same.
Can you Travel outside of Country, with H4 Extension/ COS Pending with USCIS ?
Yes, you may travel out of US, but if you travel, your pending H4 Extension / COS with USCIS will be considered abandoned. There are few scenarios with H4, H4 EAD and travel, read Travel out of US with H4 Extension, COS or H4 EAD Pending ? Options ?
Can you continue to work on H4 EAD, with pending H4 EAD Receipt Notice ? Do you get 180 days automatic extension ?
No, you cannot work with pending H4 EAD receipt notice as the category of H4 EAD, which is C26 is not eligible for automatic 180 days automatic extension. For all details, official references, read Can you continue to work with Pending H4 EAD Receipt Notice ?
Sample H4 Biometric Appointment Letter (I-797C) for H4, H4 EAD Filing Together
Sample H4 Biometric Appointment Letter (I-797C) at ASC – Stamped after giving Biometrics
Our current reader is still going through the process, as are other readers as well. We will update the article as our readers goes through the process on timelines and the potential tips.
H4 Biometrics Process Experience # 4
Another User LM Timelines on H4 + H1B with Biometric Processing
- H1B + H4 Filed in Premium : April 2nd 2019
- H4 Receipt Generated : April 3rd 2019
- H1B Receipt Generated : April 3rd 2019
- H1B Approved : April 8th 2019
- Biometric Notice Generated : April 5th 2019
- Biometric Notice Received : April 10th 2019
- Biometric Appointment : April 25th 2019
- H4 Approval Notice Received : June 15, 2019
- H4 Approval took 74 Days ( 2 month 13 days ) from initial filing
- It took 51 Days after Biometrics were done.
- Still online status says “Case Received” after getting approval.
H4 Biometrics Process Experience # 5
Another User Sachu Timelines on H4 + H1B with Biometric Processing
- H1B transfer/extension under premium processing : Apr 1, 2019.
- Got a simple RFE asking for W2 from my previous employer : April 11th.
- RFE , RFE Response (sent via fax same day) : April 11th
- H1B Approved : April 15th
- H4 Biometrics Date : April 26th
H4 Biometrics Process Experience # 6
Another User Anonymous Timelines on H4 + H1B with Biometric Processing
- H1B + H4 Filed in Premium : March 26th.
- H4 Receipt Generated : March 27th
- H1B Receipt Generated : March 28th
- H1B Approved : April 4th
- Biometric Notice Generated : April 5th
- Biometric Notice Received : April 13th.
- Next steps in process.
H4 Biometrics Process Experience # 7
Another User Navisha Timelines on H4 + H1B with Biometric Processing
- We applied an extension for H1b+H4+HEAD in PP.
- We got receipt stating that Case was received April 9th.
- H1B approval status updated on April 18.
- We got Biometric receipt on 24th in our mail box stating appointment date on 05/03/2019.
- We went to ASC center on 04/25/2019 and they accommodated us.
- Now status for H4 is changed to Fingerprint Review was completed today as of 04/26/2019.
We have many more experiences shared by users in comment, do check it out.
Did you file for H4 Extension with the New I-539 Form? How was your experience? Share your experiences with the community by creating thread at User Experiences or post it as comment. Share your comments, thoughts, tips.
You may also check out H4 EAD Rule Removal, Lawsuit Latest News, Updates