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. 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
- 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 Approval and H4 EAD Decision [Next Step ]
- Waiting for the H4 approval notice and the H4 EAD
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.
- 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. This stamp is for your reference.
- Step 5 : Wait for the decision from USCIS. Your Biometrics status is not reflected on the USCIS status. You will continue to see the status “Case Was Received” . You will have this status before and after giving the biometrics.
- Step 6 : Decision from USCIS [ waiting for it. ]
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.
Sample H1B Biometric Appointment Letter (I-797C) for H4, H4 EAD Filing Together
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.
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) : April 9th – April 11th
- H1B Approved : April 15th
- H4 Biometrics Date : April 26th
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.
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