H4 Biometrics USCIS Process and Experience Documents Info

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

In Immigration| Visas by KumarUpdated : 284 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. Below is the sample shared by another user. Thanks to the user (anonymous for privacy) for sharing the form with the community. H4 Biometrics Form at ASC- Sample - To be Filled
  • 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. USCIS Biometrics Completed Stamp at Application Support Center
  • 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 Experience #2

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.

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.

H4 Biometric Fingerprint Review Was Completed Status USCIS

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.

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 ?  

Sample H4 Biometric Appointment Letter (I-797C) for H4, H4 EAD Filing Together

H4 EAD Biometrics Appointment Notice Sample

Sample H4 Biometric Appointment Letter (I-797C) at ASC – Stamped after giving Biometrics

H4 Biometrics Completed - Stamped at Application Support Center

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 # 3

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 # 4

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 # 5

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 

   

Other Articles


Comments ( 284 )

  1. Sk

    Read about someone getting h4 approval after biometrics, but now the post/replies seems to be deleted, was that accurate news or a hoax?

  2. Ram

    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 Status still shows as “Receipt Recieved”. 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.

  3. Anonymous

    H1, H4 and H4 EAD all applied in Premium processing on 29th April 2019 . Done with Bio metrics on 13th May 2019.

    My H1 approved and we are now wanting to travel to India while H4 and H4 EAD are pending.

    Fortunately we found a flight to India transiting through Canada. Our trip is for 25 days . Leaving to India via Toronto Canada and also After 25 days of trip in India, entering US from India Via Toronto/Canada.
    Can we request for AVR for wife, when we are entering the US that way wife can get same i94 and she can still have her H4 and H4 EAD process continued.

  4. Ramu

    Premium H1B+H4+EAD
    Date Received: 03/25/2019
    Approved: 04/03/2019

    Lives in Maryland Biometric Appointment given in New York, but I went to my local ASC.
    They accepted took 15 mins.

    Biometric given : 4/16/2019

    Still waiting

  5. Cindy

    I just received the Biometric appointment for H4 today. I currently live in Bay Area, CA, but USCIS assigned me to have my fingerprint in Texas. My question is can I go to an Application Support Center that is close to me? Or do I have to reschedule it? Thanks for the help.

    1. Sri

      @Cindy – You can call them to reschedule to your closest ASC. Alternatively there are cases where people just walked in to ASC and had the biometrics done. So if you know any ASC near your area – you can visit and explain them the situation that you got the biometrics appointment but was given in a different location, they will accommodate you (based on other cases). Good Luck!

    2. administrator
      Kumar

      Yes, many users reported similar issues and they were able to walk-in to their nearest ASC and were able to give Biometrics. You should give it a try.

      1. Cindy

        I went to the Support Center at Santa Clara, CA today and got my Biometrics done. Share my timeline below.

        5/03 – USCIS received H1/H4 application in PP
        05/10 – H1B Approved.
        05/10 – Biometrics notice generated
        05/20 – Received receipt numbers for H4 Biometrics with appointment date on 5/29 in Dallas, TX
        05/22 – Attended Biometrics in Santa Clara, CA. Walk-In.

  6. Sri

    Basically H4s are not adjudicated soon after biometrics as said by USCIS, since it’s new process probably it’ll take little time for the USCIS staff as well to get used to it. I am hopeful that USCIS will approve the H4s for H1 premium cases as soon as the new process is streamlined. I am in the same boat as many, H1 got approved but awaiting H4 and H4 EAD. Applied on 3/25. So lets all be little patient until we start receiving approvals for H4 followed by H4 EAD

  7. nayana

    Hello Kumar,
    I am on H4 and applied extension with my husband’s H1b. My husband applied for H1b extension in premium processing. He received RFE before 5 days. Still we do not know what is RFE and have not submitted documents for RFE. But today, I received mail for bio metrics. in mail, mentioned notice date is prior to RFE date. Can you provide inputs on this scenario? Thanks

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      It does not matter, we had couple of users in the same situation. H1B processing is independent of your Biometrics. Just submit the RFE required documents and go for your biometrics, nothing to worry.

  8. Vins

    H1B + H4 Filed in Premium at NSC : Apr 25th.
    H4 Receipt Generated : Apr 25th
    H1B Approved : May 2nd
    H4+EAD Receipt Notice received : May 2nd
    Biometric Notice Received : May 3rd.
    Biometric done : May 14th

    NO UPDATE ON H4/EAD SINCE THEN. Do you know if USCIS will honor premium processing in this case ?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      No, they are not doing that anymore. Many are stuck in the same boat as you…Do keep the community updated, if your status changes.

  9. j

    we have applied (H1+H4+H4EAD) together and H1b got approved and gave biometrics on April 30th till date there is no update on h4extension. Meanwhile, we have also applied for h1(cap) COS it was picked in the lottery
    Question1: can we upgrade my H1b application to premium when my h4 extension is in pending
    Question2: If H1b gets approved in 2 weeks(premium) what will happen to my h4extension ?
    Question3: H1b is effective from OCT, Incase H4extension gets approved after OCT will that override H1b? or do we need to withdraw h4?
    please advice
    Thanks

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      1. You can, once USCIS makes it available.
      2. You need to withdraw it, if not approved closer to October 1st.
      3. That’s why you need to withdraw it by writing to USCIS closer to october 1st. Discuss with your attorney of H1B on the timing of all of these…

  10. Dipak

    I am moving from one employer on another and have filed for h1b transfer along with h4 transfer for my wife in premium processing. I have a couple of questions:
    1. I got an email receipt for h1 transfer application, will there be a separate receipt with a separate petition number for h4 application?
    2. Will she need biometrics? If yes, I assume that might take some time and my h1 will be approved before that, can I join a new employer before her biometrics in done? If yes, can it cause any issues?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      1. Yes.
      2. Yes, there will be biometrics requirement. You can join new employer. Biometrics are for H4 and not related to H1B.

  11. H4 visa + h4ead + h1b lottery selected

    H1b PP + H4 + H4 EAD applied on 1st april
    H1b approved on 5th april for 3yrd
    H4 biometric done on 23rd april
    11th May h4 eas got selected in h1b lottery .
    H4 expires on 14th june

    My question should h4 ead go for premium of h1b visa since my h4 will expire on 14th June?

    Second question what will happen to my job if h4 ead didnt came and visa expire? Can i work like h1b?

    Third question what will happen to my h1b if i my ead expires and h1b is still in process?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      No, your H4 would not go through premium/faster processing based on experiences this year, it was a courtesy in the past… now they are doing it anymore. No, you cannot work, you need the physical new extended H4 EAD Card, your H4 EAD extension is not automatic. You are H4 or H1B ?

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          They are not related directly…If you filed H1B as COS and it is approved, then your status would be changed to H1B from Oct 1st.

  12. DRMC

    I understand that the processing time for h4 and h4 ead will be delayed by 1 to 3 months. The question I have is what will happen to the applicant if the processing time for h4 and h4 ead goes beyond the current expiry date of the h4 and h4 ead ?

  13. Ram

    Small update what i received from my lawyer.
    My lawyer confirmed that he hasn’t received any H4 approvals after biometrics. He confirmed that although USCIS said they will adjudicate H4 after biometrics, he hasn’t seen any approval till date.
    As i have plans to travel this month he recommended me to.
    1) apply H1 in premium.
    2) Go to India. get H4 stamped
    3) Apply H4 EAD once we return in regular processing.

    He said filing all together now might not help as H4 will be abandoned if my wife travels out of US which will lead for I765 denial.

  14. Anonymous

    04/30/2019–> Case was received- California SC. (H1+H4+H4EAD+PP)
    05/01/2019–> Case Was Received and A Receipt Notice Was Emailed.
    05/06/2019–> Case Was Approved.

    H4: Case Received on 04/29/2019
    H4 EAD: Case Received on 04/29/2019
    ———————————————————————————————–

    05/03/2019–> Biometric Notice Generated
    05/11/2019–> H4 Biometric Letter Received with an appointment date of 05/24/2019.
    05/13/2019.–> USCIS in my city gladly accepted bio metric walk in today.

    Waiting for H4 and H4 EAD approval

    Some one please kindly share your inputs.
    We have already made plans to go to India. What will happen to wife h4 and H4 EAD.
    Wife is planning to attend h4 Stamping using my new h1 approval that was approved on 6th may 2019 . Any inputs are highly appreciated.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      If you leave the country, your I-94 closes on exit, so technically the H4 petition is abandoned and consequently, H4 EAD is also denied. So, you will need to re-enter after H4 stamping in H4 status to US and re-apply for EAD, after you enter US.

  15. PK

    Below is my status

    H1 and H4 Filed on April 26th.
    H1 Approved on 5/2.
    received H1 Approval copy on 5/11 to Attorney.

    No Receipt for H4 Generated nor received any Biometric Notice as of 5/17. Anyone in same boat?

    really not sure what is going on.

    1. Ahmed

      Ask your DSO to generate a I-20 for your wife, in that way you will get a receipt number from your DSO, since your h1b already approved. Use that receipt number to check case status. Sometimes USCIS don’t find suitable appointment for nearest ASC center, as a result it takes time to get the appointment letter. Check with your attorney as well if he/she received any letter yet so far.

      Since, you already have your approved h1b, I will assume everything will go smooth with H4 approval.

      1. PK

        Thanks Ahmed. My wife is on H4 previously. This is our extension. I believe atleast receipt number should be generated right?

        1. Ahmed

          Oh ! I didn’t it was an extension.

          Anyway, You should have receipt number by now. But, I will suggest you not to panic. Just wait for couple of weeks. This is really a pick time along with ongoing 2020 H1B cap. Service center may be taking little bit more processing than as usual.

  16. AG

    04/23 – USCIS(Nebraska) received H1/H4/EAD application in PP
    04/25 – H1 Approved
    05/03 – For H4, Biometrics notice received stating 05/13 is my biometric appointment
    05/13 – Provided biometrics
    H4 & H4 EAD status still showing as “application received”

    Basic details form(Name, DOB, Race ..) that I filled, they returned to me after taking finger prints(Not sure why they ask to fill it up).

    In the ASC I visited (Santa Clara, CA), every one is having phones/iPads with them in silent mode and you can go out of the room and speak if you want to.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Thanks for sharing ! Good to know, you can keep your phones in silent mode…Do keep the community updated as you hear more info.

  17. Paul

    Hi guys, can anyone help answering my question:
    Before my wife is in F1-OPT and I am F2. Her H1B is approved last month so her F1 status is invalid now. I finished my H4 biometrics on May 3rd, and still in process for the H4.
    I got the I-539 receipt notice (application to extend/change nonimmigrant status) from USCIS. My question is what my status right now? Since the H4 is still in process, and will take a long time.
    I am not out of status right? Thanks.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Was her H1B picked in FY 2020 Lottery or is it from Previous year ? Was your COS filed, when your I-94 was valid ?

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          add more details in the previous question as well…also, cap exempt by previous lottery or university ?

  18. SST

    04/26 – USCIS received H1/H4/EAD application in PP
    04/27 – Email Notification received for H1 application
    05/05 – Biometrics notice generated
    05/06 – Received receipt numbers for EAD & H4
    05/07 – H1B approved
    05/13 – Biometrics notice received
    04/14 – Gave biometrics in different ASC Center (The one given in my letter, did not entertain us, so went straight to other on). Took probably 10-15 min max.

  19. Test

    Once we receive the Biometric appointment letter,

    1) can we go to ASC center anyday before the Appointment date mentioned on letter (or) only on the appointment date mentioned
    2) Can we go to different ASC center

    1. Victor

      It depends on officer. I am from NYC and I have 2 biometrics center in 20 miles range from my home. I tried both and did not work. In 1 center the person was racist and she even tore the paper form which the security asked to fill in front of me at the counter. Security did not check my appointment time and gave the form to fill.

      I am planning to go for appointment date, since no one has confirmed giving early appointment has helped them to get EAD earlier. I think they would process in the order which they receive only once biometrics is there. (My Guess)

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.