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I-539 form USCIS – Biometrics Required, Fee, Process. H4, L2 Processing Delays

USCIS changed the Form I-539 and added new requirements in March 2019. As part of the change, USCIS collects Biometrics and done updates to the form and how the applications are processed for anyone using I-539. This change impacts H4, F1, L2 and many other visa holders that use I-539 form with USCIS. This article covers all the changes, biometrics fee, process and impact to processing times in general, including latest news on the form.

Background : Why Biometrics with I-539 form ? Visa Types ?

One of the fundamental reason for the updating the I-539 form with Biometrics option is the Executive order EO 13780. As per that EO with title “Protecting the National from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States”, DHS want to protect America from foreign Terrorists and individuals who can cause threat. Wit the updated I-539 form, DHS is planning to collect Biometric information for better screening and vetting for national security.

Impacted Visa Types with New I-539 form

I-539 form is used by many categories of visa holders and it will impact all of them.

  • H1B, L1 dependents ( spouse, children) – H4 Holders filing for extension/ change of their status
  • L1 Dependents ( spouse, children) – L2 holders filing for extension/ change of their status
  • B1 / B2 – Visitor visa holders to extend/ change their status
  • F1 for COS, Reinstatements, J1 Holders
  • Other visa holders dependents like CW-2, E category dependents, G, G-5 etc.

Changes in the I-539 Form after Biometrics

The updated form I-539 with biometrics has not changed much, just some minor changes. There are some minor changes in pages 1,2, 4, 6 and 7. See below at the end of article, where we highlighted what changed in every page.   One of the major change is removal of the Supplement A section from I-539 form and put it a separate form. Also, a new version of the I-539 form was updated in March 2021 after Biden administration removed the public charge rule. The current version of the form I-539 now 7 pages.

Below is how you can identify if you are on the latest form or not. It was updated in 2021 as well and now the current edition is 3/10/21 and expires 09/30/2021. See below screenshot.

I539 Current version of the Form 3-10-21
I539 Current version of the Form edition 3/10/21 with Biometrics

Added New I-539A form for Co-Applicants

The I-539A form is the new form that was created with the Supplement section in the previous I-539 form. Every co-applicant, who is filing along with the primary I-539 applicant should submit a separate I-539A form and each of the co-applicant has to sign in their respective form. For children under 14 years of age or who cannot sign to due to health reasons, their parents or guardians can sign.

How much Biometrics Fee ? How to pay ?

The I-539 Biometrics fee is $85 USD for every applicant and co-applicant. This biometrics fee is in addition to standard I-539 form fee of $370 USD. If you are part of A, G, and NATO categories, you do not need to pay biometric fee.  If you do not include this fee, your application will be denied.

Example :  If let’s say you have 2 children filing along with one dependent then fee would be like below for all 3 of them.

  • Application Fee : $370
  • Biometric Fee : $85*3 = $255

If you are giving check, it is recommend to give separate checks for each of the biometric appointments to avoid confusion. You need to give separate checks for each of the biometric appointment to avoid confusion.

I-539 Processing Steps with Biometrics

  • Step 1 – Completing, Sending I-539, I-539A Application Forms : The first step of submitting application form I-539 is same as before. You need to complete the latest version of I-539 form and submit the application form to the respective address. If you have any dependents, now you would also attach additional I-539A forms, as applicable for each of the co-applicants, sign and send it to the respective USCIS center. The change in process happens after you send to the application form.
  • Step 2 – Biometrics Notices : After you submit the complete application form along with fee with USCIS, each of the applicant and co-applicants will receive a separate Biometric services appointment notice containing individual receipt number. 
    • The appointments will be scheduled at the nearest “Application Support Center (ASC)” closest to the main applicant’s address.  
    • If you want to give biometrics to be done at a different location, then you need to file a separate I-539 form.  
    • The applicants will receive an advance notice of 7 days for the biometric appointment. They can re-schedule as needed. On an average, they say that it will take about 17 days for the overall biometric process. But, this varies by the load and situations. with COVID, this has taken months due to less availability of ASCs.
    • Also, since the pandemic, the Biometrics notices also arrive with Application Information Worksheet (AIW) that needs to be filled by the applicant and submitted at the ASCs.
  • Step 3 – Giving Biometrics : After the applicants receive the Biometrics notices, they need to go to the respective ASC and give Biometrics. They will stamp on the Biometrics appointment notice confirming the same. They will take the AIW form and update their system with the information in it.
  • Step 4 – General Processing of I-539 : After the biometrics are complete, then the standard processing of the Form I-539 starts. Biometrics is considered as a pre-requisite to process the general form. Applicants would get approval, RFE or Denial based on general application processing and documentation.

I539 Processing time, Delays of H4, H4 EAD, L2 with Biometrics

As per USCIS guidance, typically they would take about 17 days on average to complete the I-539 biometric process from the day they receive the I-539 application(assuming no re-schedules) form. But, the reality is very different. Based on various H4 & H4 EAD Biometrics Experiences, it is pretty clear that there can be anywhere from few weeks to few months delays with the biometrics process.

Also, during COVID-19 situation, there is less availability of the ASC and there have been significant delays with the Biometrics processing of the I-539 forms. It has taken many months for USCIS to process the Biometrics due to the ASC Closures and limited capacity. Read USCIS Delays with 1.3 million Biometrics appointments to know more.

You can check the I-539 – H4 Visa Historical Processing times to get an idea on the typical processing times. The processing times vary significantly based on the type of visa you are filing the form I-539 form. There are extensive delays with F1, B1/B2 extensions or Change of status applications.

Premium Processing of H4, H4 EAD, L2 with Biometrics

In the past USCIS would process H4 and H4 EAD along with H1B premium processing within the 15 days premium processing clock as a courtesy. But, with biometrics requirement for H4 extensions or COS in the process, they said they are not going to process H4 and H4 EAD in premium processing.

USCIS said they will process the H4 and H4 EAD only after the Biometrics are complete. Based on historical data from 2019, 2020, they have been taking anywhere from 2 months to 6 months or more for H4 and H4 EAD processing, even if the H1B was filed in premium processing.

There are some misconceptions that, if you upgrade after biometrics are given, they would process H4 and H4 EAD faster, but that is not true. There is no consistent response by USCIS. In some cases, some users are lucky, but many are not lucky and there is no pattern as such. You can check H4 & H4 EAD Biometrics Experiences

Biometrics Process at Application Support Center ?

At Application Support Centers(ASC), they will capture your fingerprints, photograph and/or signature and you will need to confirm your application details, stating they are true and correct under penalty of perjury ( basically under US laws oath stating they all are correct).  

You will need to submit Application Information Worksheet(AIW) that has details about your age, weight, your physical characteristics. Read How to fill Application Information Worksheet(AIW), Sample to get more info

USCIS  suggests that you review your application beforehand or have a copy of what you have sent to the USCIS center, so that you know what you have sent to review and confirm the same at the Application Support Center.

Common FAQs

Do you need to do any Biometric Appointment Scheduling ?

No, you do not have to do any separate appointments. USCIS will automatically do all the biometric appointment scheduling and send you the notice for appointment date and time, you can change it as needed after you received it.

Is Biometrics Mandatory for everyone filing I-539 form ?

Yes, it is mandatory for pretty much all of the applicants using I-539 form for extension/ change of status for many types of visa holder such as H4, F1, etc. except for certain A, G, or NATO Classification categories.

How will USCIS handle lot of Biometric appointments? Will it delay H4 processing ?

In the past, USCIS said that Biometrics are done by contractors and they can increased as needed to handle load, if there is surge in appointments. The overall processing times should not be impacted by a big margin, except additional 17 days. But, the reality is very different with COVID-19 situation. There has been significant amount of delays with Biometrics processing.

I am a H1B Holder filing I-129 form, Do I need Biometric appointment as well?

No, you do not need to go to biometrics. It is only for H4 holders using the form I-539.

What if I am outside of the Country ? How does Biometrics with Travel 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

New I-539 form Changes by Page Compared with Old I-539 Form

I-539 New form by USCIS 2019 Page 1
I-539 New form by USCIS 2019 Page 2
I-539 New form by USCIS 2019 Page 4
I-539 New form by USCIS 2019 Page 6
I-539 New form by USCIS 2019 Page 7

Check latest form info at I-539 form at USCIS website

What do you think of the new form ? Share your experiences with the New form and Biometrics appointments

   

Other Articles

552 Comments

  1. We’ve applied for a Change of Status from H4 to F1 with USCIS for my wife. But her current H-4 visa ends on July 24th, 2020. And I’m (The Primary H-1B Applicant) not planning to file an H-4 extension for her as we already filed for a COS. Let’s say if we didn’t get the COS approval by July 24th, can she still stay in the country while the COS is pending with USCIS. Or we must file for H-4 extension as well along with my H-1B extension filing (If we go this way, we will be having 2 cases for her, one is for COS from H-4 to F1 and the second is for H-4 extension. I’m not sure whether this creates any ambiguity for USCIS that which application to pick & process). Any suggestions and thoughts are much appreciated. Thanks in advance 🙂

    Reply
  2. Hi , USCIS did a typo in child name and biometric ASC center denied doing biometics with wrong name and asked to get new appointment letter with correct name from uscis. Service request with USCIS said , typo can only be corrected at the time of adjudication. any ideas what should I do

    Reply
    • sd,
      Try calling them or raising service request again. It can be frustrating at times…Alternatively, you can directly walk-in to ASC and request them to do biometrics based on the case, there are few cases, where there was success….try a couple of new ASCs.

      Reply
  3. Hi,i woud like to ask about visa extension fof my mom coz we have file last December 16,2019 and she done her biometric on January 14,2020 and her 6mos will end this Januaty 27,2020..my question is does she need to exit before January 27 or we need to wait for the notice from immigration?we hope for the best answer..thank u!

    Reply
  4. Hi, I am on F1 and my H1b in in pending state, my wife on F2 and employer already filed I-539 (H4). Currently our both files are in pending state so, how the H4 process will works? she already done her biometric and we don’t the further process, is h4 works parallelly with h1?
    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Guru,
      They will be processed, but the decision may not come around the same time as H1B as the processing times are different. H4 approval is dependent on H1B…so, first you would get H1B, then H4.

      Reply
  5. My parents are traveling on visitor visa. My father got sick and is in the ICU.
    They may not be able to fly back to India before their visa expires. We can file for their extension but he may not be able to go for biometrics since he is not able to move.
    In thia scenario is there any other provision or can they waive the biometrics for him?

    Reply
  6. Hi,
    In my case my H1B transfer with a new company has been approved, since they initiated my wife’s H4 transfer and I539 extension form, in between the process She had to travel back to India after the mandatory bio metric. Now question is, what will happen with the existing I-539 form?is it still valid since h4 transfer not yet approved? or we need to apply a fresh application? Please share your advise.

    Reply
  7. Hi This is Ashwin

    My wife got H4 Extension and I have approved i 140. We want to apply for her H4 EAD.
    Can she travel to India after applying H4 EAD?
    Please let me know

    Thank you

    Reply
  8. My Wife received RFE for change of status (F2 to H4) for approval of her I539. This is extremely frustrating as the biometrics were taken in August, and we only received the update on 12th December. Would you all suggest to forego I539 and better to get H4 stamped in India or Canada?

    Reply
  9. Hi Kumar,
    My husband has an approved I-140 and H1 valid till July
    I traveled to India last year, after which he got H1extension (till July)
    I am planning to travel to the US in February and apply h1b, h4 extension, and H4 EAD together
    So I will have to go for stamping in the US consulate (and go through biometrics) sometime in January
    Do I need to attend biometric again in the US while filing all 3 together in February
    Also is there any issue if I traveled back while h4 extension and EAD is in pending status

    Thanks,
    Meera

    Reply
  10. hi, i m in B2 (permit 6 months) status now and want to change my status into F1. i have a wife also. she wants to change into F2. my question is –
    1) should I fill up double I-539 and double I-539A (dependent) ??
    > one for extension
    > one for change of status

    Reply
  11. As we all know, the processing time for I-539 typically can take 2~5 months or even longer nowadays…

    Can a person leave the U.S. before his/her I-539 application is still pending? Would there be any negative consequence on the person’s next application of a new visa stamp or the future Adjust-of-status when the person submits the I-485 form?

    Thanks!

    Reply
  12. Hi
    My daughter(5year) n mine h4cos is pending after biometric on 5 August,I have some medical emergency in india,if I travel there without my daughter.Than my application will be denied but what will happen to my daughter status ? Is she can live here with out of status with my husband who have approved h1b..

    please suggest some options I don’t want to spoil her school that’s why don’t want to take her..

    Need an urgent reply as it’s medical emergency ?

    Reply
    • Neha,
      No, it could jeopardize her status as COS would be denied with you as the primary applicant. You can file for a separate H4 application, indicating the reason, so that she is in status. It is all about timing and you need to discuss with an attorney as this can be tricky. So, please double check with attorney and then only take a decision. Do update your decision and process, after you speak to attorney here.

      Reply
      • Sol.,
        She can….If she is still in status with I-94 valid, much easier..if not, there needs to be some paperwork submitted for the same. Discuss with an attorney to be safe and it directly ties to the status.

        Reply
  13. I Employer applied for H1B and H4 renewal in premium, my H1B was approved in 3 days and H4 biometric is also complete. It’s been 20 days and the status remains the same as “biometric is complete”, now I have a travel plan to India on nov 26th. My question is can we travel without i539 approval ?

    Reply
  14. The biometrics is completed and the case status is showing “we completed our review of your fingerprints and are working on your Form I-539, Application To Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status”. Any idea how long will it take to get H4 extended?

    Reply
  15. HI

    My husband got visa extension only upto October last. So need to apply for next extension soon. He got his approval notice.But my h4 biometrics only completed on aug and didn’t get the approval. Without the approval notice whether it is possible to apply for my next h4 extension ? Can you please advise on this.

    Reply
    • Yes, you can apply for it. Use the existing H4 receipt and approval notice of your spouse as proof of status and pending application. You were in period of authorized stay.

      Reply
  16. Hi,
    I am in very strange situation, please guide. My current employer A filed my H1b extension along with my daughter’s H4 on Aug 14th in regular processing and her biometrics was done on Sep 3rd. Now i upgraded my petition to premium processing on Sep 11th, hoping to get both our visas approved together. But I got another job and they filed my petition today. We decided to not file my daughter’s extension with Employer B, because we have plans of traveling to India in October and thought to go for consular process in India for getting her visa stamped. Her visa stamp is valid till Nov 20 and same with I94. But i realized something now, If I switch to Employer B before october, what happens to my daughter’s status?

    Reply
    • Hi Kumar,

      My wife & I have our current H1B & H4’s valid until September 2020 with Company A. However, Company B (my current client) has offered me a position and they are initiating the H-1B change of employer petition on my behalf. When I asked them about my wife’s H4 (my wife is currently in India and planning to return in Feb 2020) and whether there is a need for filing Form I-539, they said there is no need to file one and we both can go for visa stamping at the US Consulate based on my H1B approval notice with Company B. The following was their exact response. Is this correct? Can you please share your thoughts on this?

      “If she is not in the US, you cannot file the I-539 on her behalf. Additionally, if she leaves the US while an I-539 is pending, the government would have record of her departure and would ultimately deny the extension as they would consider it abandoned. Once your H-1B with #### (Company B) is approved, the easiest way for her to apply for the new is visa is by presenting the approval notice at the consulate and they will affix a new visa stamp. Moreover, the H-4 visa renewal in the US can take up to 5-8 months to adjudicate and requires a biometrics appointment for her, but only after your H-1B is approved”.

      Thanks,
      Raj

      Reply
  17. Hi Kumar,

    I am in L2EAD now and my spouse in L1. If we apply for H1+H4+H4EAD COS while in US, are these going to be adjudicated together after biometrics? Is that happening now?

    Thanks.

    Reply
  18. Hello,

    I have filed my H1,H4 and H4EAD in premium process, got my H1 approved until Jun 30th 2020, I can see online status as Bio metric Reviewed and still waiting for H4 and H4EAD approval,

    Do we need to give Bio metrics on every extension or it is one time process?
    How soon I can apply for H1,H4 and H4EAD extension to fall under 180 extension?

    Thanks in Advance

    Reply
  19. Hi,

    We have applied for H1+H4+H4EAD on August 16th . We received the H1B approved on Aug 21.
    WE have received the notice for H4 and H4EAD on Aug 19th.
    But we have still not received the letter for Biometrics. Any chance we dont have biometrics or is the mail been lost/missed ?

    Thanks

    Reply
  20. The biometrics is completed and the case status is showing “we completed our review of your fingerprints and are working on your Form I-539, Application To Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status”. How long will it take to change status from F2 to F1. The college begins on Sept. 20.

    Reply
  21. My H1B visa extension is filed on Aug 14th along with that, my daughter’s H4 is also applied for extension. Her biometrics appointment is scheduled for Sep 3rd. Her biometrics appointment is scheduled for Sep 3rd. I got a new job offer and they will be filing my visa transfer and extension in premium in couple of days. If my daughter goes for biometrics on sep 3rd, should she go for biometrics again when my new employer processes her visa transfer in couple of days ?

    Reply
  22. for my dependents biometrics my wife and daughter got same day i,e 09/10 however my son got it on 09/14, would it be possbile to do the same day for all
    my son age is 7.5 and my daughter is 9+.
    please let me know.

    thanks

    Reply
    • Yes, you can request for the same. Most of the ASC will accept that, if not you can try in couple of them around in area, they seem to work and allow.

      Reply
  23. Hi – My H1B extension for I-129 got approved recently on Jul 31 2019. But for my dependents I haven’t received any approval. Ours filed(h1B& H4) during Jan 14th 2019. But am seeing in this blog about changes in I-539 application . My dependents didnt go to Bio-metric and all .During the time there was no changes. Will this have any impact to my dependents processing ?Any suggestion or advise on further steps will help me.

    Reply
    • Well, if your h1B was approved recently, you should give it some more time for approval. Yes, biometrics does not apply to you. Wait for few more weeks. Talk to your attorney…

      Reply
  24. Hello,

    My wife & daughter has gone for biometric. Wife case status is updated “Fingerprint Review Was Completed” but daughter’s case is still showing Case Was Received. Biometric was done in 10July2019.

    Reply
    • Hi Kumar,

      do you have any update on your case status after Finger review completed? I see my case status also updated to FInger review completed on Aug 23rd, but my Son case status as received. Any idea how many more days it will take

      Reply
        • Hi Kumar,

          I am on the same boat, applied for i539 for myself and my kid on 31st may. My wife got approval for i539 on 21 August but for my kid the status is still case recived.

          Visa is expiring in October mid and have plans to travel in November. I have to go for stamping too. Will it be ok if i travel if my kid status still being case recived and no physical notice received?

          Reply
  25. Ashwin

    Hi i have my H1 extension approved till 2020 Dec in premium processing last week , My Wife H4 Extension is pending, She received a bio metric appointment on 29 Aug 2019. We are planning to travel India on Dec 2019.
    1. Will my wife get to know her H4 approval decision before dec 2019?
    2. If we didn’t hear anything from USICS before dec 2019, can my wife travel to India?

    Appreciate your advice and help
    Thanks

    Reply
  26. hi
    we applied H1B and H4 extension together in Nebraska center. But the MSA submitted is only upto September 2019. Assuming, we get visa only upto September 2019 and receive H1 approval. Company has to file extension again. In current scenario, h4 extensions are taking long time,
    can i apply h4 extension along with h1b in Sept 2019 without receiving approval notice of h4?

    We didnt receive any RFE yet.

    Reply
    • Yes, you can do that. Discuss with your attorney and submit a letter or required documents as needed to prove that H4 was in status during the filing.

      Reply
      • Hi Kumar,

        Am planning to apply H1 amendment+H4+H4EAD in normal processing.
        Am in new jersey and expecting the application to go to vermont.
        Since am applying in normal processing , how long it will take to get biometric notice for finger prints for my spouse? Do they wait until my amendment is approved? In this case looks like it will take more than 12 months for amendment to get approved. Please advise. Also when they receive biometric will this show status change?

        Reply
      • If I apply H1 amendment H4 and H4 EAD in normal processing. Meanwhile I get new job and apply for H1 transfer in premium processing. What will happen to existing H1 amendment , H4 and H4 EAD applications?

        Reply
  27. Hi,
    i got my h1b extension recently that is till 2022, now am planning to apply h4 extension for my wife and son(current visa valid till sep-2019),
    my question here is,
    * do we need to add any other documents other than i-539 and i-539A forms and checks for biometric and application fee?
    really appreciate your help in this regard.

    thanks.

    Reply
    • Good news!

      One h4 visa extension with biometrics 25th march from Nebraska got approved today on 18th july!

      Reply
  28. My Current L2 visa and EAD is valid till 25th Aug 2019 .
    And my L2 extension petition and EAD was filed concurrently with my Spouse’s L1 petition in Premium processing.
    His L1 extension petition is approved today.
    However , there is no status change for my L2 extension petition and EAD yet.

    Can i travel internationally and be back to US before my current visa expires ( 25th august ) ?
    Will there be any impact on my pending L2 visa and EAD petition with the international travel ?

    Please advise.

    Reply
  29. Hi I am applying for L1 B to L1 A conversion , my dependent is filling I 539 Form , Should she fill for Conversion or Extension ? Bcos for L2 ( I.e dependent Visa) L1 A / L1 B it will be still L2 Dependent visa.

    Reply
  30. Hi,
    My Extension is valid till July 31st I am planning to apply for extension and it may take some time before it gets officially filed by my company. Can you please let me know if the biometrics is required before it can be confirmed that the extension was submitted on time before expiry. in other words, will the submission be considered on time when the application is submitted or when the biometrics is done?

    Reply
  31. Is this Biometeric screening be needed for every time you do a H4 extension? For e.g. My wife got her biometeric screening for H4visa done in India last year in December. SHe came and applied for H4EAD which got approved in March end. Now we had to apply for extension as my H1b was ending in Sept.
    so will she have do her Biometric again for H4 extension?

    Reply
      • ok, so when w e apply for H4 extension again after 2 yrs, will we have to do biometrics again?
        Or is Biometrics screening is just to make sure that the person who is applying is verified in person by USCIS as fingerprints dont change.

        Thank you for responding quickly?

        Reply
    • This is the million dollar question…unfortunately, there is not enough data now to tell the exact time frames…many are waiting…

      Reply
      • Hi Kumar,

        I received the H4 extension notice yesterday but didn’t receive the biometric notice. Do you know if USCIS case status shows when they mail it. I just called USCIS but the representative does not see the appointment schedule. Does that mean the appointment has not been scheduled? Thank you and expect your reply.

        Reply
  32. Hello,
    I am currently on J-1 and my H1b got approved (cap exempt) with PP. My wife is on J-2 and her I -539 is still pending, we got I-797c for my wife’s application. My H1b is going to start on July 1st. Our J1/ J2 is valid until Jan 2020, with the same employer. We have our I-140 approved on EB1A. My questions are-
    1. If I start working on H1b on July 1st and my wife didn’t get her approval, will she become out of status?
    2. Family is planning for India-trip in July, need to attend family ceremonies. Anyway, my wife needs to get a visa stamp. If she leaves the US before her I 539 approved, does it make a problem for H4 stamping?

    Please help
    Thanks

    Reply
    • 1. No, as you have applied for it on time before I-94 expiry, she will be period of authorized stay.
      2. No, it should not. Her H4 COS will be abandoned as she left before the approval. It is fine to go and get H4 stamping. If you have not heard back from USCIS, when you enter US, just send a withdraw letter to USCIS for your I-539 application.

      Reply
      • Thank you very much for your reply. Her I-94 is valid until Jan 2020 with D/S on her I-94. Does she need to carry her I 797C while going for the H4 stamping in India?

        Thanks

        Reply
        • If she is going for H4 Stamping, she needs your H1B Approval notice copy. Her H4 receipt notice does not matter. She may carry, but it does not matter.

          Reply
          • Hi,

            Another question came up. Since this is her first H4 stamping (not an extension, previously we are on J1/J2), does it make any problem to getting a visa from the US consulate in India as our I-140 on EB1A is also approved? We didn’t file for the I-485 yet. I saw a question on DS-160 and completed as mentioned below.

            Has anyone ever filed an immigrant petition on your behalf with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services?​ YES​
            Explain: I AM LISTED AS A RELATIVE ON THE I-140​ PETITION FILED BY MY SPOUSE.

            Your advice is highly appreciated.

            Thanks
            Unni

      • Hello
        Thanks for the previous comments. She got the biometric appointment letter, scheduled in the last week of June. We hope it will be processed before her travel.

        Regards
        Unni

        Reply
        • Hi Kumar,
          Thanks a lot for the previous comments. My wife’s I-539 got denied, as she is in India now. I wanted to confirm with you, does this affect her H4 visa interview outcome? Does she need to carry the denial letter of I -539 or any other associated documents with I -539 application? Your input is highly appreciated.

          Thanks
          Unni

          Reply
          • Usually, no need. But, does not hurt to carry that… If she has access to get the same. I am assuming it was denied due to abandonment of the petition with Travel out of US.

          • Thanks for the reply Kumar. We haven’t received the letter yet from the USCIS and it is more likely due to the travel. Since she is in India, Is it fine if I send her the scanned copy of the letter?
            Thanks

  33. Hi can anyone tell me how much time it is taking for h4 to receive their biometrics letter from uscis?It’s 9days from the receipt generated for h4,my husband”s extension is approved,so by now I should have received the biometrics letter ,but I have received only the h4 extension receipt .So can you tell me is this normal to take so long for uscis to send the biometrics letter?

    Reply
      • I received my biometrics letter after 15days from the date when my h4 receipt was generated. Now my biometrics are done it’s 5days over But in uscis case status it is not showing.Nothng is updated in uscis case status.When I rang at uscis call center for not receiving my biometrics letter,they said that the notice was not generated yet,but when I received the biometrics notice I found it was generated long back.

        Reply
        • USCIS received our H4 petition on April 12 , we have completed biometrics on Apr 29th and still the status has not been updated. Seems like the wait time is more than 2 or 3 months after biometrics

          Reply
  34. My scnenario

    I94 expires on Nov 2019 .
    Visa valid till Nov 2019.

    planning to apply only h1 on premium and travelling to india with my spounse (H4) on oct and submitting docs for dropbox.

    Since i am eligible for Dropbox, even dependent is eligible for drop box , how can i schedule her only for bio metrics (as per new biometrics rule) ?

    I thought under IWP you dont need to go for biometrics , so it seems like
    only h4 would have to travel for biometrics.

    can you please clarify.

    Reply
  35. I filed my H1 and H4 in March before the Biometric was introduced for H4 in normal processing, I am now planning to file for H4 EAD extension using my receipt notice. My question is do we need biometric in this case , should I send an additonal $85 check

    Thanks,
    Achyutha

    Reply
    • Hi sir, I have received my h1b extension approved on June 21,2019 but my spouse h4 visa extension is still pending with USCIS….please let me know how long will it take to get approved.

      I have submitted both h1b and h4 extension in January 2019 and in Feb both the applications moved to Vermont. Received Rfe in March 2019 and submitted rfe response in May 2019. Got approved on June 21,2019 .

      My h1b ext got approved but my spouse h4 extension result is pending….

      Do I have to wait for h4 ext result and petition or shall I go to India and do the stamping for my spouse with my h1b petition.

      I came to know that there is some biometric process in h4 extension approval. Is that applicable in this case.

      Please let me know what should I do in this case.

      Reply
      • You can wait or raise a Service Request because you filed a long time ago….technically you should have got the H4 approval by now, as your petition falls under before Biometrics process…Biometrics process came only in march and you do not fall into that category…You can wait for H4 approval….If you plan to travel out of country, then you can even get it stamped, but there is no real need that you need H4 stamping to be done as it is not adjudicated yet…

        Reply
  36. No, you cannot continue working unless you get your approved H-4 EAD in hand. Working on EAD receipt notice is only for some categories and C(26) is not in that list.

    Reply
  37. Hi,
    I got my H1B transfer approval on May-21, Now I got H4 Biometric for my spouse and kid request on June-6. How long USCIS will take to approve the H4 Applications. Also my spouse is on H4EAD. My last day at current employer is June-7. Can he still continue his work on EAD after June 7 ? Please help me . I am very confused.

    Reply
  38. @Kumar: I had filed H1+H4+EAD in premium. My H1 is approved and now waiting for biometrics and EAD. Its already been 15 days and I have still not received biometrics info. USCIS said they will process it normally. If I see their time lines H4 processing is taking 3-5 months and EAD will take additional 3-5 months. What if I leave USA, and get H4 stamped. What will happed to my H4 & EAD applications? Will it continue to get processed or do I have to re-apply again? Unfortunately my current employer will not wait this long and was trying to see alternatives.

    Reply
    • Your H4 will be abandoned, if you travel out and your EAD will be denied as well, due to the H4 abandonment. You can get new visa stamping outside of US and re-enter US, then apply for H4 EAD.

      Reply
    • In the same case – If we do a SEVIS Transfer while H4 and H4 EAD is in process (Spouse is moving from F1 to H4) – what will happen to H4 and H4 EAD applications?

      Reply
        • I was expecting that in this case – I will be in F1 Status till H4 and H4 EAD is approved with COS.

          My Question was – Can I work with SEVIS Transfer till I get my H4 and H4 EAD Approval

          Reply
          • You will not get any status, until that status is approved by USCIS. No, in general, you cannot work on F1 visa without having CPT or OPT…

  39. My H1 premium extension just got approved, however, my wife’s H4 biometric address is in Texas instead of California, we called and canceled the biometric appointment in Texas and requested them to change address, how long does the change of address take and a new appointment take?

    Can you apply for another H1 transfer or visit to India when the Biometric appointment is pending?

    Reply
  40. Hello, I filed by H1B on 26th April. H1B got approved. I have receipt notices for H4 and EAD but still no biometrics information. What should i do?

    Reply
    • Give it few more days, if you do not hear back, then check with Customer Service or Visit ASC closer to you to get more info.

      Reply
      • Have been trying to call customer care and do not respond. Should I just go to asc office. Will take able to take biometrics without physically copy of biometrics request.

        Reply
        • Well, if you have it close by, does not hurt to give it a shot and visit the ASC office. Or give it some more time…

          Reply
  41. Hi, I have applied for H1B and H4 extension while in USA. Currently we are back to India and got a Biometrics notification to be done in USA. Can we do the biometrics in India?

    Reply
  42. My employer filed my H1B extension and H4 visa extension for my child under premium processing on March 19. My H1B application was approved for 3 years but my daughter’s H4 application was sent back with request for biometric fees and processing. The lawyers re-filed the petition on April 10 and included the appropriate fee. Will USCIS adjudicate my child’s application immediately after the completion of the biometrics as a courtesy to the main H1B premium processing application or will the re-filed child’s petition not be considered as part of premium processing. If it is considered under regular processing how long will the entire biometric appointment process take?

    Reply
      • @Kumar. For some it’s been over 1 month after giving biometrics. I know USCIS mentioned that they would process it as soon as they receive biometrics as a general courtesy. Do you think they will be processing it normally . Whats holding them up?

        Reply
        • One of the users shared that they got email from USCIS stating that H4 will not be processed in premium processing…In general H4 was never eligible for Premium processing, but it was courtesy of USCIS in the past to adjudicate them together in premium…now, with H4 they are doing that courtesy faster approvals, at least for now…we need to see what happens.

          Reply
        • Once the biometric is done for H4 dependent how much time it takes to get an approval? Can dependents travel to India while decision is pending after biometric?

          Reply
  43. We are a company that does I129 and I539. All of the Biometrics are being scheduled close to our address instead of the Familes whom we filed the petition for. What address are they using for this?

    Reply
  44. Hello there
    As mentioned in this blog that “for the H4 and H4 EAD petitions filed together H1B petition, USCIS will wait for the biometric processing to be complete and then adjudicate immediately once that is complete to as a courtesy of the main H1B premium processing application.”

    However When I checked with Fragomen legal team they said
    “If you file your H-1B under premium processing from the very start of the case the H-4 will not benefit from courtesy premium processing due to the biometrics requirement. ”

    Anybody has any idea which one is correct ?

    Reply
    • We have already seen few users in our social media groups mentioned that they have filed H1B + H4 + H4EAD in premium and got their H1B approved, but H4 not yet approved and they got Biometrics Appointment letters mailed to them. The goal is USCIS will adjudicate as soon as the biometric process is complete, this was clarified in the USCIS stakeholder call.

      Reply
    • Hi Kumar,

      My H1-B was filed and H4 for my spouse in premium. H1-B got approved and we have received on H4 receipt.

      Now we are moving from our current address to new place of work and H4 biometric has still not arrived. Can I request ASC to take biometric based on receipt or request to reschedule biometric at new place. Need urgent advise .

      Thanks,
      Mani

      Reply
  45. There should be some criteria for whom Biometrics is required for H4 dependents . Young kids from 0 to 17 years of age this Biometric may not be required and is a real hassle, if the policy could be reviewed and adjusted accordingly would be really good

    Reply
    • Hi Kumar,

      I have applied to enroll in college on H4 Visa. My spouse H1B and my H4 extension applied through premium process on Aug 2019. My spouse h1b got approved, still waiting for my h4 extension approval. On October my existing h4 visa got expired.
      Please suggest me, do I need to wait until I receive my h4 extension to enroll in classes? If I enroll in school during h4 extension process will it affect H4 extension approval from USCIS.
      Thanks in advance

      Reply
      • Hemashree,
        Assuming you plan to study on H4…I do not think you need to wait for your H4 approval…All the DSO needs is proof that you are maintaining your status. While you do not have proper status, you are in period of authorized stay. You enrolling in classes will NOT affect your H4 approval from USCIS…

        Reply
  46. I am on H1B and planning to go to India in June along with my family . My and my family’s I-94 is valid until October 2019 .

    Is it possible that I can only apply my H1 extension under premium processing in April but not file H4 extension for my family and take my family for new H4 Visa stamping in embassy in India based on my new petition that I should be getting in premium before leaving for India .
    This way , can I avoid H4 extension (and new filing new I-539) for my family in US ?

    Reply
    • In general, for H4 to H1B, your H1B sponsor will use I-129 form for applying H1B petition and indicate COS in that, so there is no need to use I-539 form. So, it will not apply to your situation.

      Reply

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