H4 Biometrics USCIS Process and Experience Documents Info

H4 Extension Biometrics Experience – USCIS – H1B + H4 + EAD – Docs

In Immigration| Visas by KumarUpdated : 40 Comments

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
    • Passport
    • 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. USCIS H4 Biometrics - Travel and Outside of the country

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

H4 EAD Biometrics Appointment Notice Sample

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 

Other Articles


Comments ( 40 )

  1. Question_visa_transfer

    Hi Saurabh,

    I am currently on H1-B and 6 years max out is on April 23(2 days from today).We applied for H4 and H4 EAD based on my husband current petition which is valid till 29-Oct-2019.
    My husband is going to change employer and his H1 will be filed on 27-April. My question is:

    1)Can I withdraw H4 ead in process and apply new H1 , H4 and EAD together with his H1 transfer?

  2. Kavit

    Hello,

    I applied for H1B to H4 change of status, it was through regular processing. Does anyone have any experience how long it took to receive the biometric appointment letter for regular processing? I received my receipt copy on 4/18/2019 (filed on 4/8/2019).

    Thanks.

  3. Amin nimni

    My uncle aply my father and my uncles aply date and years 2011 april month.may know when we go usa how many days its complete

  4. Sunny

    Hello,

    Thanks Kumar for putting together the latest updates. And thanks everyone who has been very resource ful.

    I have another question which is not completely relevant now but will be helpful in future:
    I am about to go for H1 Extension + H4 + H4 EAD (concurrently in Premium Processing) from my current company. Once that is approved, I am planning to switch jobs down the lane in couple of months. In this case, when my new employer applies for transfer of H1, does my wife who is on H4 needs to attend biometrics again? What would happen to the H4 EAD? Do we have to apply H4 EAD again based on my new H1?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Honestly, not sure, if she needs to attend biometrics again, we need to see how USCIS handles such requests. Maybe you can update us 🙂
      Usually, when they file transfer, it is recommended to file H4 and H4 EAD together to have all the dates in sync and it is a best practice. The reason is, to have their I-94 and all dates in sync with your H1B…

  5. Suresh

    Hi ,
    I received rfe on my H1B transfer . My employer did not tell me yet weather they responded ref or any status on that but they told me yesterday that my wife who is on H4 needs to go for biometrics.
    What does that means my H1B has approved and that’s why they called my wife for biometric?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Well, it could mean that they filed for H4 extension as well, along with H1B transfer. As part of the new process, H4 extensions filed using I-539 form need to get biometrics. Speak to the attorney or employer and clarify.

      1. Suresh

        Thank you Kumar
        Yes they filed H4 extension along with H1B transfer. H1B got rfe and I am still waiting for decision but meantime my lawyer also sent me biometric appointment letter for my spouse.
        I wanted to confirm if they call H4 for biometric only after H1B approved or they can call even if decision is still pending on H1B

  6. bhanu

    Thanks for explaining the process..but I have a question here…when you apply h1+h4+h4EAD in premium process..

    H1- will be approved first
    H4- You will recieve notice first , then go for finger printing, USICS will update next
    H4EAD- what will be status of this , will it will be approved with H1 or wait for H4 and then approve ? I dont see the H4 EAD status on the above information.

    Thanks for info.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      H4 EAD approval is based on your H4 Approval. So, until your H4 is approved, EAD cannot be issued. Biometrics is a requirement to get H4 extension. So, you will get H4 EAD either along with H4 approval or after H4 approval.

  7. BL

    We filed H1B+H4+EAD with premium processing on 4/5. Receipt confirmed on 4/8. My H1B got approved on 4/11 and my attorney and employer just received the approval notice yesterday. We are still waiting for the appointment letter.

    Our I-539 case still says “Case was received”, so I don’t know if it means that they have not made the appointment yet. For those who have received biometrics appointment notice, what does the “Case Status” say?

  8. Prasenjit Maity

    H4 biometric is on April 25th . That is the day when I am actually moving to different location and I cant go there. Can I go to any ASC office local and give biometric.

    1. Anonymous

      Hi Prasenjit,

      What does your online Case Status say now?

      We filed H1B+H4+EAD with premium processing on 4/5. Receipt confirmed on 4/8. And we are still waiting for the appointment letter.

      Our I-539 case still says “Case was received”, so I don’t know if it means that they have not made the appointment yet.

      Thanks for your help!

      1. JIT

        H1B and H4 extension filed in premium. 26th Marc. RFE 8th APril.
        RFE reply 11th April
        Approved H1b 12th April
        H4 biometrics notice mail received 16th April .However there is no track of the case. Case dosnt show up when i search with receipt number
        Biometrics was scheduled in a different location.

        Called USCIS. Level2 officer called back after 3 hrs and told biometrics can be done in any ASC in US on the date mentioned in the notice.

        However we went on 18th April. early morning in nashville ASC for biometrics with notice paper and passport
        No questions asked. All done in 20 mins. not busy at all.
        just asked for alien number which in our case was not applicable.

        What are the next steps after biometrics. as H4 was filed with premium H1b , does it speed up process for h4. Not sure.
        IF not, my wife’s h4 ends on 16th June. Can she stay if the case is pending after biometrics

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          Thanks for sharing your experience.

          As your H1B was filed in premium, it is very likely that USCIS will adjudicate your H4 soon. It is not mandatory that USCIS has to make a decision on your H4 as premium processing, but they did mention in the stakeholder call that they will process H4 filed with H1B premium soon after biometrics are done, we are yet to see results. many are still waiting.

          Yes, she can stay until the decision is made on her case, as her application was filed on time before I-94 expiry.

    2. administrator
      Kumar

      Well, Please call USCIS for guidance on this, they have a customer support line. Also, update the community once you have any inputs from them, will help others.

    3. K

      Yes you can go-to to the nearest available ASC immediately and ask them to help with re-scheduling. I did the same for my wife and they even accommodated getting fingerprinting done on the same day at that local ASC itself.

      1. administrator
        Kumar

        This is awesome ! Thanks. Can you share additional details on your Biometric experience at the ASC with the community ?

        1. K

          We were pleasantly surprised with the reception at the ASC. The person who received us was very helpful and even fetched the copy appointment from the system as our copy didnt have the barcodes in scan supported quality.

          The appointment was scheduled initially for 4/22 at an out of state facility, but they ported it to the local ASC and helped capture it there on 4/16.

          One thing to note here was the ASC was pretty much empty. Two other folks there finished their business and walked out and we were the only ones there for the day at around 2:15 PM.

          1. administrator
            Kumar

            This is awesome. Great to hear. Thanks for sharing. Would you mind adding couple more details on the timeline like when you filed, was it all three and when you got the appointment notices, so that I can add the same to the above article for everyone benefit ? I will post a FAQ article on this as well, with your feedback.

          2. K

            12/03/2018 H1 filed
            01/15/2019 USCIS RFE request
            04/01/2019 H4 & H4-EAD filed
            04/09/2019 RFE response and premium upgrade filed notice dated
            04/04/2019 USCIS acknowledges H4 & H4-EAD
            04/10/2019 USCIS acknowledges premium process start
            04/15/2019 H1 approved
            04/15/2019 Attorney sends USCIS scheduled H4 finger-printing on 4/22 in ASC based on H1 petition city
            04/16/2019 Visited wife’s local ASC and explained the situation. ASC folks help pull the appointment and accommodates finger-printing immediately right there
            04/18/2019 Awaiting next steps

  9. Anonymous

    Hi,
    H1B Extension/H4 & H4 EAD under premium processing : Apr 8th ,2019.
    H1B Approved : April 11th ,2019
    H4 Approved- April 11th ,2019
    H4 EAD – Status shows as ‘ New card is being produced”.”On April 11, 2019, we ordered your new card”
    No Biometrics appointment received.Wondering why there was no biometrics for me? I had it taken during the Visa interview , in Aug 2018. Could that be the reason?

    1. Krishe

      An Anonymous user who filed in Premium, got H1 extension, H4 extension and H4 EAD approved in 4 days!! Not sure why there is no Bio-metrics for H4?? Is H4 non-Indian candidate? Or is it because H4 already gave bio-metrics last year?

      Also, Those who did H1/H4/H4 EAD together in PREMIUM, what was end to end timeline right from the day petition filed to the day you got approval for H1, H4 and H4 EAD

  10. Ramu

    My present address is X and after filing H1B amendment & extention and H4 extention, I changed my address to Y.
    Question : Do they mail H4 bio-metric form directly to X address or to my attorney?
    And also do they schedule biomaetric near to my X address?

  11. sr

    Question?
    My Question is my wife went to India in March 1st week now my H1b is ext is due and planing to apply H1Bext+H4ext+H4EAD ext… but my wife wont be here in USA for next 6 months…. my present visa expires 29th Sep 2019. So in this case how to proceed and can she do bio metrics in INDIA? what is the procedure and what are my options?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Yes, she can do biometrics in US Embassy or Consulate in India. You should call them up / email and arrange for the same. I have updated the above article with the details on USCIS guidance with screenshot and details. Check it.

  12. Sachu

    I applied for H1B transfer/extension under premium processing on Apr 1, 2019. Got a simple RFE asking for W2 from my previous employer, on April 11th. They gave a fax number to directly fax the response. Responded on April 9th itself. Today (Apr 15th), my case was approved. They also sent us the biometric notice for my wife’s H4 extension. The date given is Apr 26th. I will let us know how things go after 26th!

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Great Sachu ! Please update. I see you faxed on April 9th, but you got RFE on 11th. Did you mean other day ? I have added your info to the main article for everyone’s benefit.

  13. Sriram

    Thank you for providing the detailed information about the H4 Bio metric procedure. I really appreciate Kumar help to our legal immigrant community. Thanks to the person who shared a copy of the Biometric Notice .
    Sriram

      1. administrator
        Kumar

        Sriram, It is not me, it is about the awesome person sharing with the community and staying anonymous ! Thanks to him.

    1. KP

      Thanks much for the details Kumar, Sachu, Sriram..

      I’m working in company A and having valid petition, and company B initiated h1 transfer and got the biometric(797c) for H4 with the B address, due to personal things not joined in company B, do I still need to attend biometric or withdraw the h4 transfer with B.

      1. administrator
        Kumar

        KP,
        Technically, if you fail to appear, your petition is considered abandoned. That’s what the Appointment letter says. I suggest you call the ASC or USCIS to confirm the same. Also, share your feedback with the community here.

        1. KP

          Thanks much Kumar,
          I sent 539 withdrawal request to service center as I’m not going with company B.. as company B said they will withdraw H1. do I still need to cancel the Biometric appointment?

          and my current company A is also submitting H1 Extn & H4., is it okay to wait for my company A bio-metric letter.

          Thanks for your time Kumar.

          1. administrator
            Kumar

            As I said before, it gets abandoned. But, I recommend you call the USCIS helpline on your ASC letter and confirm to be safe. Also, please share the response from customer service with the community as well.
            Yes, you can wait for the new filings related letters, but I suggest you call regarding the old one, just to be sure…

Leave a Comment

Comments Policy :
  • Comments are to drive conversation, add your thoughts, experiences, ask questions!
  • Do NOT write hate speech, swear words, or get into fight. Maintain etiquette
  • Enter your Name, valid Email, URL(optional - Facebook, LinkedIn profile URLs).
  • Your email will NOT be published. Do NOT post any phone numbers, email-ids
  • Do NOT post any links from other websites, unless official sites, University websites.
  • By submitting your comment, you agree to Term and Conditions of our website.