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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

   

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552 Comments

  1. Hi Kumar,

    We’re waiting for my Mom’s i539 extension petition which was filed online, with reasons of not being able to travel to India due to Covid and underlying health conditions like diabetes, hypertension.
    i539 Receipt Date: Aug 4 2020.
    i94 expired on Aug 28.
    We haven’t even received the biometrics yet.

    Question: While the petition is pending, can she continue to stay in the US for 240 days from i94 expiry? Which is roughly till April 28?
    She’s in fact planning to leave by March 15th. Would leaving by March 15 be a problem while the application is pending?

    Reply
  2. I recently applied for I-539 for my wife (Main applicant) and daughter (I-539A, Co-applicant) based on my H1B Visa. I received the Receipt Notice for only my daughter but NOT for my wife (main applicant). Should I wait for another Receipt Notice for main applicant?

    Reply
  3. I got my L1 extension and my wife’s l539 in process haven’t got the receipt no and biometric appointment yet but i do have visa stamped Upto dec 2022 , my question can i go back to my home country while it is in process . And one more question I haven’t got the new i94 . If everything is ok can i come back to USA with a valid visa stamp Upto dec 2022

    Guide me

    Reply
  4. Hello,

    My husband changes his job recently and he got a new H1 visa in Nov 2020 and expiring on Nov 2023. However, we did not renew my H4, EAD, which was based on his previous job and expires in Dec 2021.
    I saw the delayed processing time, my question is, can I apply for the extension right now based on his newer visa?
    Any advice is much appreciated.

    Reply
      • Thank you Kumar,
        One more question, can I apply for H4 and ead extension together? Or should I wait for sometime( or till the h4 approval) before applying for ead extension?

        Reply
  5. I’m currently on F1 STEM OPT. My H1B petition was approved as consulate processing while I was stuck outside the US due to the pandemic. Due to continued H1B visa ban, I decided to travel back and re-entered US on F1 status to apply for COS. Should I be using i539 for my F1 to H1B COS?

    Reply
  6. Hello

    My parents arrived in US on Dec 22 2019. Their I94 date expires on Jun 21 2021. Both my parents are more than 65 years old and my mom recently had an ear surgery plus my dad has heart problems and they both are considered high risk. Due to obvious reasons, I had applied for their extension in early June 2020 citing the reason (COVID ) and providing evidence that the airlines have cancelled their flight.

    In early Septemeber, there was a letter from USCIS asking my parents to attend the biometrics on Sep 30,2020. Since we all were extermely cautious even about checking mailboxes, we did not check this important mail on time and my parents could not make the appointment. As per the instrucitons in that letter, we had requested to reschedule the biometrics appointment and have not heard back from USCIS since. On the biometrics letter, there is a statement that says “if you fail to show up for the appointment, your application may be considered abandoned”.

    I have read that B2 visitors can stay upto 240 days (8 months) while their I539 decision is pending with USCIS. That date is Feb 16 2020. Given the recent COVID surge and the fact that they are both high risk, I dont want to take the undue risk of sending them to india right now. So what are my options really

    1. Should i apply for a second I539 extension? eventhough the first one is still pending? (do i need to get a medical note for my parents)
    2. Since they did not make the biometrics appointment on time, is there a possibility that USCIS had abandoned their petition (thinking that my parents may have already gone home) and that is the reason that they did not respond anything? does this mean, that i need to send my parents home at the earliest availability risking their health and safety? Please note that I had applied to reschedule th biometrics appt.
    3. Would USCIS consider these extenuating circumstances and allow my parents to leave at their own time? i am also worried about their future visits.

    Thanks in advance. If there are any tricks to getting a human person when you call USCIS, please share that. I have not had any luck in over 2 months.

    Reply
    • lesson… being cautious during a pandemic does not mean you have to go under a rock.. lesson learnt i hope for others’ reading this.

      if you have immigration cases pending… always be on the lookout for mails.. pandemic or not. ( yes, i get that you have elders at home, but not checking mail is totally unrelated). un-install the bloody news apps..

      enable, “informed delivery from USPS”… they will email you what is coming to your mailbox.

      i feel bad for you 🙁

      Reply
    • Hi Lokesh,

      We also missed our first biometric appointment as we did not receive the letter in mail. So we requested to reschedule the appointment. Appointment was rescheduled but then we moved to another location so we requested to reschedule again. We received a call from USCIS agent and they ensured my mom’s identity.

      So wait for their response. USCIS does respond. Or try sending a message through USCIS portal. They do respond.

      Reply
  7. Hello, thank you so much for all of this Information. Quick question, My I-94 expired on september, but I requested since august an extension because there were no flights to my country, and also because I got COVID, I have to go back due to a family emergency, but the I-539 was never approved and it remained in process since I submitted it. Is there a problem with me going back with my expired I-94, what documents should I take with me to the airport so I dont get in trouble, I remember I read I could stay while the I-539 was being processed but Im a bit afraid.

    Reply
    • Pablo,
      You keep a copy of the receipt that you were in the country when you applied without I-94 expiration. That tells that you tried to do the right thing. Keep proof of whatever was sent and confirmation from USCIS, so that you can show the same.

      Reply
  8. Hi
    My parents have a B2 visa with an I94 that expires on Jan 16, 2021. I have applied accordign to the USCIS timeline a request of I539 and 539 A to extend their stay to June 2021.
    I have already received a receipt number and today I called USCIS and they informed me that they mailed the biometric appointment letter.
    They have a flight scheduled on Jan 14 2021 (2 days before their I94 expired- they do not want to overstay since the B2 visa can be voided whether they wait for the decision and get rejected or they leave after the expiration of I94 and before a final decision is made)
    My questions are the following :
    1- Is the biometric appointment a sort of confirmation of approval or not at all and their request might still be cancelled ?
    2-if the biometric letter arrives this week before their flight and I94 expiration, and they decided to stay – how long should we wait to hear a final confirmation for the I94 extension
    2- if the biometric letter arrives this week but they decide to leave before I94 expires, how should we follow with USCIS ? should we change address, withdraw or go to US embassy in home country to submit biometrics
    Thank you

    Reply
    • Sophia,
      1. It is just part of the process, does not imply much.
      2. Well, that one is hard to say. It can take a long time based on the processing times…
      3. No need, if they leave the country, that does not matter. Just make sure you keep a copy of it saying that you left before the biometrics came as proof.

      Reply
  9. Hi Kumar,
    My Mother came to the US in Feb 2020 on B2 visa. Her I-94 was valid for 6 months until August second week. Due to the COVID-19 lockdown her return ticket for April 2020 was cancelled. So I applied for I-539 on June 17th (before 45 days of I-94 expiration) to extend her stay and requested for another 4 months extension till Dec 20th 2020 (reason being my delivery date was in Sep and she wanted to spend time with us after my child’s birth).
    It is past Dec 20th already and Case status is still pending with USCIS but we would like to extend her stay for 1 more month until Jan 18th 2021.

    Questions:
    1) Request your guidance if it I need to file a second extension for 1 more month after Dec 20th (although it is past that date) OR she can continue to stay and leave on Jan 18th given her application status is still pending?
    2) Can I instead upload Unsolicited Evidence for existing application as I had filed it online to inform the change of her departure date and new tickets? Will this be sufficient?
    3) Will the extended stay in anyway jeopardize her chances of re-entering US in future?

    Reply
    • VP,
      1. You need to file second extension. Also, you cannot get extension just based on the reason that you need help with delivery, that is not an accepted reason as per USCIS for staying beyond her time. You should have more concrete reason like COVID and flights not avaialble to your country. USCIS has discretion to deny the extension of status.
      2. You should give mor credible evidence that says from Airline that she cannot travel or health related risk due to COVID from doctor or someone stating she should not be traveling with the current issue.
      3. Yes, if the extension is denied by USCIS, there can be issues. Discuss with an attorney on this.

      Reply
  10. This is related to my query on doing F1 COS to H4 + H4 EAD concurrent filing as part my spouse H1B visa processing. I am currently in F1 visa (H4 to F1COS done during 2018) working in STEM OPT and my F1 visa will get expire in July 2021. Hence I am planning to file my F1 COS to H4 + H4 EAD concurrent filing for future date (July 2021) along with spouse H1B visa extension petition. I am having the following queries regarding this

    1. Can we file H1B Extension + F1 COS to H4 + H4 EAD in premium processing?
    2. Can we file H1B Extension + F1 COS to H4 + H4 EAD in normal processing, wait for Biometric to get completed for COS and then upgrade to Premium processing?
    3. Also, can we file H4 + H4 EAD for future date. How much time does USCIS takes to honor the request?

    I just want to hear your responses and best approach to proceed as I don’t want any gap in my employment? Could you please provide your guidance?

    Your responses will be greatly appreciated.

    Reply
  11. Anyone who had their B2 approved, how long it took USCIS to approve your case after your biometrics were taken? I gave mine on Nov. 20 and haven’t heard anything since then. Meanwhile my H1B’s been approved but COS has been denied because at the time of filing, I had an inactive i94. Any suggestions on what could be done next? Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • Goeff,
      You should check with an attorney immediately as your COS was denied. B2 takes a long time and many are waiting for over 6 months.

      Reply
  12. I have filed my I-485 and I already did biometrics on Sep-2019. My I-485 is still pending and I need to extend my H-4. Should I do biometrics for this H-4 extension?

    Reply
    • Galia,
      It depends, they may or may not ask you. In the past, they would always ask you for biometrics. with covid, they are giving some exemptions and trying to re-use old ones. Wait for guidance from USCIS

      Reply
      • Thank you. So should I pay for Biometrics when I filing my I-539? And then wait to see if USCIS ask for fingerprint or not? If I do this, is this possible to effect my I-485 and cause any delay because of getting new fingerprint from me?
        Thanks

        Reply
        • Galia,
          Usually, when you file the form, you should include the biometrics fee. It is up to them to give you the biometrics appointment notice or use the previous ones.

          Reply
  13. My sister has filed form I-539 extension of stay (due to (COVID) on 6/16/2020 before I94 expiry on 7/21/2020. Unfortunately she missed her biometrics appt on 11/20/2020 but then she filed for re schedule on 11/23/2020. Her flight going back to her home country is on 12/08/2020. If she will not receive the appt prior to 12/08/2020, can she go ahead with her flight without having issue upon her next re entry to the US? Pls let me know.

    Reply
    • Destiny,
      Yes, it should be fine. As long as she leaves on time, should be fine. Send a withdrawal letter to USCIS stating the details, so that they can withdraw the same.

      Reply
      • Thank you but sorry I did not get it. So my sister was scheduled for biometrics on November 20, 2020 but she missed it by accident. She requested a new biometrics appt and sent the request on November 23, 2020. Her flight going back to her home country is on 12/08/2020. If she will not receive a notice of biometrics appt prior to her flight, since this is the second time, is this is going to be an issue on her re entry to the US? I don’t understand why you mentioned about withdrawals. This is an application for extension of stay (up to Jan 22, 2021) and there is no second application. Pls advise.

        Reply
        • Destiny Santos,
          Well, it should not be an issue. Just make sure she carries all the documentation with her from now during re-entry. Have proofs of why you could not travel early so that the CBP knows. If she does not get anything by the flight date, she could exit the country and also submit a withdrawal letter stating that she found flight to leave and so leaving, so would like to withdraw the same. In that case, they will not process it. USCIS will send acknowledgement for the same and she can use that during re-entry.You can call the customer service to get their guidance as well. You can read h4 Biometrics withdraw letter sample to get an idea

          Reply
    • Hi, I filled a premium processing for i129 E2 investor
      My family filled concurrent the same day i539 and i765 for my spouse
      I129 was approved on September 29th
      Biometrics were taken on September 27th
      Do you know how long more or less to have i539 and Ead approved?
      Thank you

      Reply
  14. Hi Kumar,
    I applied for H-4 and EAD extension on Mar 17th 2020 along with my husband’s H-1B extension (California Service Center). His H-1B extension was approved in Premium Processing but my applications are still pending after 8+ months. I haven’t even received biometrics appointment and my expedite request was denied.

    I am a resident of Florida and Texas Service Center has jurisdiction over my location. Texas Service center processing times for I-539 (4-6 months) are faster than California center (17-22 months). Can I file new applications for H-4 and EAD renewals to Texas Service center to get faster approvals? Would you suggest taking this route? I have been furloughed for 2.5 months now.

    Reply
    • Preet,
      Well, you cannot really choose the Service Center, it is based on the H1B holder receipt number. Even, if you send, they may send it back to the other location…so it may or may not help. You may try, based on past feedback from users, this does not work…

      Reply
  15. Hi,

    First, thank you for this very informative article.
    I am on L-2 and my status expired in Sept 2020. My husband’s L1 extension (premium) along with my I-539 was filed in May. My husband received his approval in October. However, I haven’t yet received a Biometrics call from USCIS although it has been almost 6 months from the date of filing.

    a) Is this delay in Biometric expected? If yes, do you have any insight into the current processing time for I-539s and related biometrics?
    b) After I receive my Biometric how long does it take to get approval in the current scenario
    c) Is there a way for me to expedite this process by any means?

    I had to give up my employment due to this status expiration so looking for any lead/help if I can.

    Reply
    • Hi Nikita,

      I am in the same boat too. My L2 status expired in September as well. My I539 and EAD was filed along with my wife’s L1 (Premium) on May 1st, 2020. We received approval on her application within five calendar days. However, I am still waiting for me as well as for my son. We did not reach the Biometric stage yet.

      – There are many cases like us. USCIS is taking forever. In some cases, it is taking 9 to 11 months.
      – Once The Biometric (your fingerprint data) is received by the USCIS from you; it will take another 15 to 30 days to get to the next status (approved in most cases).
      – As of now, there is no straightforward way to expedite the process. You can request the USCIS to expedite the case if you have some medical emergency in the family… meaning someone is hospitalized and you really need financial support.
      USCIS will soon implement the newly approved premium process for i539 as well as for EAD as per the recent amendment but god knows how long they will take to implement this new law.

      I also lost my job in September and just counting my days…

      Reply
      • Sachin,
        Sorry to hear about your situation.
        USCIS will take time to implement this regulation. The process can be long, it is not going to be soon.

        Reply
        • Thank Kumar.

          I have a question (off-topic).

          Many are predicting that the ‘Date of Filling’ for EB1C will be current from Jan 2021. We wanted to file i140 in December 2020 (current month) but the lawyer says we should wait until the next month to take a chance as the Date may become Current for EB1C.

          What are your thoughts on this?

          Reply
          • Sachin,
            I have not done full analysis on the EB1C and backlog part. Unfortunately, I cannot give my opinion. Go with your attorney’s advice, if you are not sure.

      • Thank you Sachin for taking the time to respond. I’m very sorry to hear about your employment issues. I am in the same boat, so I understand.

        If you receive new information, I would really appreciate it if you could reply back on this thread with it. I will do the same. It allows some understanding.

        Reply
  16. Hello!
    I summited for an extension of non-immigrant in March due to Covid, I could only stay until April, I applied to stay only until July because I thought the borders will be open by then. Is October now, the borders on my country are still close, and I received the Biometrics appointment for next week. Can I change my departure date during my appointment at the Biometrics?

    Reply
    • Hello Kumar and everyone,
      Is there any current restrictions for people visiting US on B1/B2 visa already stamped on their PP.
      Or anyone knows of someone recently being successfully admitted in US on B1/B2
      Are there any specific requirements in order to be admitted or country wise restrictions….
      Thanks

      Reply
  17. Hello,
    Thanks for your effort.
    I have a question: I just got the “ASC Appointment Notice” to do “biometrics” to change my status from F2 visa to F1 visa, my question is how long does it take between this appointment and the approval? The appointment will be in Oct,26 and I want to see and figure a way to add one more class at the end of the semester because I just have 11 credit hours as a part-time student.
    Thanks in advance 🙂

    Reply
        • Hello.

          I’m changing my status from B2 to H4. I received my first notification from USCIS on August 27th 2020 about a receipt with the details about what I paid but I’ve not received the fingerprint appointment yet. How long did it take between you received the first notification and got the biometric appointment? Also, when I check my case on USICIS page. There’s appears this message:

          ” Fingerprint Fee Was Received
          On August 24, 2020, we accepted the fingerprint fee for your Form I-539, Application To Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, Receipt Number . Our California Service Center location is working on your case. We mailed you a notice describing how we will process your case. Please follow the instructions in the notice. If you move, go to www.uscis.gov/addresschange to give us your new mailing address. ”

          Somebody would tell me what’s that mean

          Reply
        • Hello Sam.
          Any updates on your application? I had my biometrics last week. How long does it take for COS approval from F-2 to F-1 after biometrics?

          Thank you!!

          Reply
  18. My mother applied for I-539 – B2 visa extension and left back to India before we heard back from USCIS on the biometrics.

    1. What happens to this case now ?
    2. Will there be any issues the next time she enters USA ?
    3. Apart from receipt of notice , is there any document that she must carry to support of port of entry ? ( her i-94 expired on june 3rd and the extension was applied before that . She travelled back to Indian on Aug 27th ).

    Kindly advice.

    Reply
    • Hi Kumar,
      I just wanted to share our experience regarding b2 visa extension and also seek guidance.
      My mother filed for B2 extension in April, 2020 for 6 months, her I-94 expired in April, 2020. We didn’t hear anything till oct 2020 so we requested/filed second extension for B2 visa. In November, my mother left the US when her first B2 extension request was still pending. One week after her arrival in India, we received approval notice from USCIS ( shocking to us as we thought once an applicant leave the US, USCIS doesn’t process the application, but in her case even after she left the country, USCIS processed the application and fortunately approved it).

      Now BIG question what should we do now…. as for my mother second B2 extension request is still pending and she is in India ? What procedure should we follow to officially withdraw our application ? Please guide us.
      Thank you

      Reply
      • Samy,
        One thing you can do is send a copy of her ticket and withdraw the application. If USCIS acknowledges it, then it should be fine. Keep a copy of the approval notice, flight ticket, stamp and I-94 copies handy to show if they ask during next visit. You can use a withdrawal letter like in H4 sample withdrawal letter. Do keep the community posted.

        Reply
        • Hi Kumar,

          Thanks for reply. The concern is my mother is in India so it would be difficult to have her write the letter and her signature on the withdrawal letter, or if I send on her behalf USCIS may not consider it as it is not from the applicant.
          Also slight concern is if we withdrawn the application, the stay of mother outside the approved stay may consider as un lawful.
          However we have attached a letter on her her online account and have also sent an email regarding the update of mother departure from the US. Do you think that’s enough?
          Please guide us. Thanks a lot

          Reply
          • samy,
            I think, either should be fine. Frankly, there are no real expereinces here as these situations are fairly new and no one knows. Many do not withdraw too, so either is fine. Just make sure you carry all the documentation during the next entry, so that she can answer accordingly.

      • Hi Samy,

        I am in similar situation. When USCIS sent you the approval, did the updated I94 had the expiry date beyond the requested date so that you will get a grace time to leave the country. I had our biometric done yesterday, we will wait for the approval but if we don’t receive it, I will get tickets for my mom for March 15. I requested to extend her stay until 10 Feb. So we are over her requested stay but as far as I know, if I539 is pending then one can stay for 240 days from the date of application. We are just worried if they send the approval for her stay only until 10th Feb then anything beyond that will be unlawful.

        Reply
  19. Hi Kumar,
    We have applied online I-539 b2 visa extension for my mother and got the receipt. Her I-94 expired in April 2020, we haven’t heard from USCIS till now. Her requested stay which 6 months from April 2020 to Oct, 2020 is gonna expire soon. We would like her to stay for some more time and avoid travel due to covid so what should we do ?
    Should we apply again ? or should we keep waiting and for how long ?

    Reply
      • Hi Mia,

        Update :Hi Kumar,
        I just wanted to share our experience regarding b2 visa extension and also seek guidance.
        My mother filed for B2 extension in April, 2020 for 6 months, her I-94 expired in April, 2020. We didn’t hear anything till oct 2020 so we requested/filed second extension for B2 visa. In November, my mother left the US when her first B2 extension request was still pending. One week after her arrival in India, we received approval notice from USCIS ( shocking to us as we thought once an applicant leave the US, USCIS doesn’t process the application, but in her case even after she left the country, USCIS processed the application and fortunately approved it).

        Now BIG question what should we do now…. as for my mother second B2 extension request is still pending and she is in India ? What procedure should we follow to officially withdraw our application ? Please guide us.
        Thank you

        Reply
  20. Hi,

    I had applied my L1-B renewal in premium processing on 03 Sept 2020 and got the approval notice on 18 Sept. I have also received notice for my wife and kid but that does not mention anything about biometric and only details of the payment and receipt number included. I have also applied for my wife’s EAD renewal on 18 Sept itself after receiving my approved I797 soft copy.

    1. How long it takes to get dependents’ visa (spouse and kid) approved assuming USCIS will send separate biometric notice?
    2. Does it impact or delay EAD renewal? Does USCIS first approves visa and later EAD as it says Case Recevied on USCIS tracking site?

    Hopeful for answers and guidance

    Thanks

    Reply
  21. Is 539 approval automatic for 6 months. My mother in law’s visa 10 year term expires before the 6 month period. So we mentioned the visa expiry date in her 539 application. If approved will it be approved for 6 months or only until the date we mentioned in the 539 application.

    Reply
  22. Hello All,
    Does any one answer the following question?
    I’ve bio metric appointment in this week. Unfortunately, i don’t have to show photo id as original passport and DL are with the Tax department for verification.
    Can I walk-in biometric without having photo id?

    Reply
  23. I have applied for Change of status from F1 to B2 with a pending H1B application. We received an RFE on maintenance of status since my F1 status had expired at the time i129 was filed. We will respond to the RFE sometimes next week with the receipt for B2 and explain that it is pending. Can USCIS expedite B2 in order to adjudicate H1B? Also how long is the processing time for B2 in COVID situation? They issued the H1B RFE in couple of weeks after we received i797C receipt notice for the H1B, which is relatively quick.(no premium processing) But B2 was filed a couple of months ago, and there seems to be no activity on that part.

    Reply
    • Hi, my daughter applied for an extension last May of this year, she paid for the extension , she got the biometrics schedule come this November, Does she need to file and pay for an extension again? even if she has not approve yet? thank you so much

      Respectfully yours,
      Shawie

      Reply
  24. Hi Team,
    I am holding L1-A and my petition submitted to California center. Now I am filing L2 visa extension for my dependents. And I got to know we can’t send dependent visa extension document (I-539/I-539A) to California.
    There is different center for L2- Visa extension document submission. Please suggest.

    Thanks

    Reply
  25. Hi Kumar,
    I’ve filed my I-485 and did the biometrics in Mar 2020. Now I’m changing my J1 status to H1B. Do I need to do the biometrics again?

    Reply
      • Hello everyone!
        I applied for an extension for my B1 visa. I have my biometrics appointment in December but it seems like I need to stay a little longer. Can I ask at the biometrics to change the date? I asked for an extension until January 31st.

        Reply
        • Maike Dunn,
          You may, but it has to be justified. In general B1 extensions are really tricky they need to be backed by proper evidence like situations beyond your control.

          Reply
          • Okay thank you! Our divorce court date has been pushed back. Due to covid I hope that’s enough. What normally happens after the biometrics any idea how long it takes in general to get an answer?

          • Maike,
            It is always up to USCIS discretion, hard to say. Well, there is no estimated time…you can call the customer support…in general, the only thing that happens is you end up waiting or trying to expedite using Senator or submitting your need for faster processing.

    • Hi Kumar,
      I am referencing here for Form I-539, If we go to below site and download the form, There the Expiry date (right side of the first page) that is different with whatever the sample form is given here.
      Here (in sample form) the Expiry Date is : 08/31/2020
      Update form expiry date is : 10/31/2021

      https://www.uscis.gov/system/files_force/files/form/i-539-pc.pdf?download=1

      Please correct me if I am wrong.

      Reply
  26. Kumar,

    I have filed extension for H4 along with my H1B on Aug Mid in Texas Center. We received the Receipt notice after 5 business days. But we are yet to receive the bio-metric.

    How long will take to receive the Bio-metric appointment notice?
    Will there be any change after USCIS sent the bio-metric appointment notice?

    Thanks

    Reply
  27. Hello,

    I Applied for I 539 COS from H1 to H4 back in June 2nd 2020. I still see status as “Fingerprint Fee Was Received” I haven’t received any ASC appointment yet. Can you please tell me do I need to followup or anything I can do apart from waiting?

    Reply
  28. Hello,

    We have applied visitor visa extension for another 6 months for my in-laws. They were here for the first time in Feb 2020 and completed 6 months on 18 Aug 2020. I did receive biometrics appointment for my in-laws in next 2 weeks. I have added my name as interpreter in the application i539/539A.

    Question: I might not be available on the scheduled date of biometrics appointment date. Can we have our relative/friend accompany them to biometrics appointment or is it mandatory that I have to accompany them since I have given my name as interpreter or care taker in the application? I am aware we do have an option for rescheduling, but trying to find options as we would like to complete biometrics on scheduled date.

    Help is appreciated and thanks in advance.

    Reply
  29. This is a great article, thank you!
    I just wanted to check if we can apply for an extension more than once? I’ve applied for extension for my parents until December 2020 (they just completed biometrics).

    Would I be allowed to apply for another extension for 6 months in December? Or can we stay only for a maximum of 1 year (with 6 month extension) On visitor visa? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Vydyula,
      Ideally, you should NOT. You may apply, if it is a real emergency and you do not have an option. You need to clear tell that the circumstances are beyond your control and provide proof.

      Reply
      • Hi Kumar,

        I have applied B2 extension for my mother in 19 April, 2020 for 6 month extension. Her I-94 expired end of 24 April,2020 so far we haven’t heard anything from USCIS except the receipt. Her case is still pending now we are confused what to do.
        1) Can my mother continue to stay in the US till we hear from USCIS ?
        2) We requested 6 month extension, so do we automatically assume that 6 months from April my mom has to leave the US irrespective of USCIS application ?
        3) Can we file another I-539 application by end of October to extend her stay beyond October ?
        Please guide us, thanks a lot

        Reply
        • Samy,
          1. Well, this is tricky. If you can prove that it is a extreme situation beyond your control, you can ask for extension again.
          2. No, it is not automatic. Again, these are COVID-19 times, so there maybe some consideration.
          3. You can, if you do not have any choice and have proof that she cannot leave for reasons beyond her control.

          Reply
          • Same situation for me. My mother in law extension I applied is still saying Fingerprint Fee Received and did not progress after that and it ends in September. I am applying for extension again for another 6 months. Should I pay for her Biometric again?

      • It’s just that they are old and trying to be careful of their health. They don’t want to travel with covid still around but I guess I can’t state that as an example, correct? Vande Bharat flights are operating for the same purpose.

        Reply
    • Hi Kumar,

      I filled for I-539 for H4 to F1 COS back in May. I received the receipt online (no physical mail yet). However, I’m still waiting for biometric appointment. So far there’s no communication from USCIS. Call center has been of no help as well.

      I’ve already lost my scholarship for Fall semester and if this continued at this pace I’d lose my Spring semester Stipend as well.

      Do you have any recommendation what can be done here? Also, I’ve given biometric as recent as 2019 for my H4-extension. Is there any chance they might use that one and that’s why I didn’t get any biometric letter yet?

      Please advise what could be done here. I’m willing to travel to Canada or India if push-comes to shove. Please your advise would be very helpful and life saving.
      Thanks

      Reply
      • Bhargavi,
        Sorry to hear about your scholarship…Maybe, they can, but now that ASCs are open, they may or may not. We do not know. It could be. Your online status would change, if they re-use your biometrics.
        Your best bet it to exit the country, The COS is a long process and delays are crazy. If you see history of USCIS F1 COS processing times, , they are like 5 to 10 months. So, talk to DSO, think make an informed decision.

        Reply
    • Hi Vydyula,

      I am in the same boat as yours, wondering have you decided that you gonna be applying for the extension again for 6 months. I am also not comfortable sending my mother back to India due to covid related reason and thinking for applying B2 extension again. We applied in April 2020 and I-94 expired in April. The first B2 extension application is still pending. Please share your thoughts. Thank you

      Reply
      • Hi Samy,

        I am planning to send them back home before the 6 month extension expires. The flights are operating more frequently now and beyond that, I want my parents to travel back to USA later without any issues (It may be risky if they overstay beyond the 6 month extension). I prefer not to abuse the visa extension system.

        Reply
    • Hi Vydyula Kumar,

      Did your mom get a decision soon after completing her biometrics? If you remember the days that’d be super helpful. If approved, how many months did she get? Thank you and all the best!

      Reply
  30. Hi, My daughter applied to change her visa status from F2 to an F1 visa on Mar 30. Just today we got a response (Correspondence Was Received And USCIS Is Reviewing It). So, 1- can she take full-time classes in case her visa status changes at least until the last day of drop classes?
    2- If she can’t, What she should do if her visa status change in the middle of the semester?
    Thank you

    Reply
  31. Dear Sir(s), my brother & wife require to extend their stay due to Covid 19 situation; their visa is Type R Class B1/B2 for M entries; my brother did it online and paid the fee and the I539A for his wife was not allowed to be processed electronically only by mail to the USCIS Center; we mailed the forms with corresponding attachments and payment authorization to the filing addresses indicated in the USCIS page and they have returned the package indicating that such office would have no jurisdiction and its the same address indicated by their website; how do we know what is the correct address for the USCIS processing center to mail the I539A for my sister in law? Thier I94 extending period will expire on 8/27/2020; thank you for all the help possible.

    Reply
    • EDUARDO,
      Call the customer service, if you are not sure and get their inputs. Also, send a screenshot of the USCIS website where you picked the address from saying that’s what it says…

      Reply
  32. Hello,
    My Husband is under a L1A visa
    My sons an I are under a L2.
    We are very worried about our status here in the US.
    Due to Covid, his company and attorney asked in March 2020 for extending our visa in local, our i94 expired in May 2020.
    My sons and I filled i539 and we went to the local USCIS for biometrics on July, 13 2020.
    Can you tell me what is the next step and how long it takes ?
    Thank you

    Reply
    • Vanessa,
      As long as you all have filed the extensions on time, it is fine. There are a lot of delays with I-539 processing. As the biometrics is done, now they will process the case. You cannot expedite the case as there is no EAD tied for your child. So, stay positive. There is estimated time, the only guidance is you to check the USCIS processing times on their website and consider that as the processing times.

      Reply
      • Kumar, my mom went back to Brasil before getting the notice for the biometrics . She filled the extension before her I94 had expired . The case is pending . So I will change her address for the address in Brasil . My question is if she doesn’t finished her case and if they denied because she didn’t get her biometrics done she will have problems with her US visa ???? Basically she overstay 17 days even thou she file the extension before the I 94 expired . I wanna know if she try to come back next year with her B2 US vida she won’t be denied her entry

        Reply
        • Ana,
          Nothing to worry. She did not overstay. She applied for extension on time, and was technically in period of authorised stay. Just keep all the documentation handy to show, if needed at port of entry next time.

          Reply
          • Should I change her address online on her case application???? Because , she is not in the US, she went back to Brazil .
            So should I change her address and put her information from Brazil ??? Thanks

          • Ana,
            You should do that, if it allows you to enter address of other countries ( other than US). Also, do update here how it goes.

    • Hi,

      I did my biometric on the 31st of July. My case status of i539 says fingerprint is received. Can you please let me know the processing time after the biometric.

      Reply
  33. Hello Kumar,
    I have filed my COS F2 to f1 on March 20 at a Nebraska service center. Since then I have not received any biometric notice. Even though my ASC has reopened. I have only received a receipt notice dated March 20. So I filed an e-request via the USCIS website to ask about my biometric notice. But the service request answered my question like this-
    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) records show your case is in line to be reviewed by an officer. We ask that you allow additional time for this process to take place since we process these cases in the order received. If after 60 days you have not received anything in the mail, please contact the USCIS Contact Center (NCSC) at the number provided below.
    At this point, I am really confused about when should I expect a decision, and Is this response means that they are not required biometric in my i-539 COS case. Your comment will be highly appreciated.
    Best,
    Farjia

    Reply
    • farjia,
      Well, if you have not given any Biometrics with them, the you will need it. But, if you have given anything with USCIS before, you may be able to get away as they may use old ones. The online statuses can be misleading at times…So, give it some more time and follow up with USCIS by calling them in a week or so.

      Reply
    • Hello Farjia,

      I just wanted to check if you received the decision to your F2-to-F1 change of status application? If yes, when did you receive the biometrics appointment and when did you get the final decision? I have the same problem with NSC and I filed on June 09th.

      Thank you
      Dilka

      Reply
  34. Hi,

    I am considering STEM OPT cos to H4. My spouse just recently got the 140 approved, and my STEM OPT will expire in 2020 May, which means I only have one last chance of my own H1B lottery. so I am thinking about if I need to cos to H4 with the future effective start date as the expiration date of my current STEM OPT.

    1. If I submit H4 and H4 EAD application now and put the future effective date as 2021 May, is this ok? am I allowed to put the future effective date even more than 6 months from now?

    2. If submit the COS now, does that mean my STEM OPT EAD will expire immediately? or it will still be good to use until the future effective start date of H4?

    3. If Trump decides to cancel H4 EAD at the end of 2020, will this revoke the approved H4 EAD with a future effective date?

    4. Let’s assume I can keep my current STEM OPT EAD until 2021 May and I am lucky to get my H1B picked in the lottery in 2021 April. Since I put H4’s future effective start date as 2021 May, will this affect my potential H1B application? If not, do I need to submit H1B application after 2021 May (when I am in H4 status) and submit H4 cos H1B then? and in this case, does that mean I still can use H4 EAD between May and Sept. 30, 2021, and start to use H1B after Oct. 1, 2021 (assumed H1B will be smoothly approved in 2021)?

    Thanks for your help with my questions.

    Hope you stay safe during COVID-19.

    Rakesh Upadhyay

    Reply
    • Rakesh,
      In general, you can definitely put in a future date for COS and it will start usually from the day you put in as start date. But, I am not sure, if you can do it so much in the future as it is really over 6 months. You will get a I-94 with that to indicate the same, if approved.
      Everything goes by the last action rule. So, you should factor in that and submit H1B. otherwise, it can get tricky.
      I suggest you speak to an attorney and plan out the dates carefully as it involves many moving targets.

      Reply
      • Hi

        Can any one help me please. I am on E3 working visa and my visa expires on 13 August 2020. I have applied for extensions. My online account on USCIS page says my case was received on 1st July 2020. But I have not heard anything else back after that.

        I am getting worried as what will happen if I didn’t hear nothing back before my visa expires. Please can anyone throw some light on it.

        Reply
        • Jeet,
          There are delays in getting receipts, many have shared the same feedback. So, you may have to wait. If they say your case was received, you are good. Try calling USCIS customer service..

          Reply
  35. Hi. I sent an I539 for an extension of stay for my wife and me. We asked for and exception of payment but it wasn’t authorized that’s why we received our documents back. We sent the form I539 and I 539A with the correct payment on June 17 2020 and we haven’t received any confirmation. How many days do we have to wait for the confirmation from? Thanks

    Reply
    • Jose,
      The receipts generation is slow lately with the COVID. You should get it in 15 days or so, now taking a month or so…Call USCIS and check.

      Reply
  36. Hello,

    I filed I 589 to extend my stay on B2 visa in April 2020 and receive NOA ( receipt of approval) the following week of lockbox delivery. I still have not received any biometrics appointment or decision from uscis. The reason for requesting extension was due to border closure in my home country. However borders have reopened so i have a flight scheduled to leave this month.
    Note my i94 expired May 9 2020.
    How do i proceed once I leave the US ? Do I have to inform uscis/ service center? If yes what documents do I have to send?

    Thank you in advance for your assistance.

    Reply
    • Vern,
      Did you get receipt notice or approval notice. In general, you do not have to inform anyone. You just keep all the documentation and leave the country on time. When you return, you just need to show that documentation that you filed it on time. You can call them to update, but does not matter.

      Reply
      • Hi Kumar!

        Filed an extension for my mom
        on July 14th (her i94 expire on August 3, Tourist visa) and we haven’t received fingerprint appointment yet. She has to leave by October 20. If she doesn’t receive her appointment by then, what can we do? I’m just concerned that by not having her appointment before leaving then her application gets cancelled and she may accrue unlawful presence. Please advice.

        Reply
        • Eloy,
          Well, the application is pending with USCIS, so she may not accrue unlawful presence. Call USCIS. Usually you should get something in 180 days, but due to delays, not going as per regular plans. Make sure you have all the proofs for extreme situations and why she could not travel…

          Reply
          • Hi Kumar,
            We have applied online I-539 b2 visa extension for my mother and got the receipt. Her I-94 expired in April 2020, we haven’t heard from USCIS till now. Her requested stay which 6 months from April 2020 is gonna expire soon. what should we do ?
            Should we apply again ? or should we keep waiting and for how long ?

    • I’m in the same situation! I summited a request for an extension with my visa B1B2 on March because I had to leave in April. I asked to stay until July, and now is October, I can’t leave yet because the borders on my country are closed, and I received the Biometrics date. Can I change the time of stay?

      Reply
  37. Hi,

    My wife came to USA on H4 visa and she is planning to join graduate school in Fall 2020. Our initial plan was for her to go to India and change her visa to F1. But, due to COVID she won’t be able to travel to India and get her visa changed.

    1. If she applies for change of status through I539, does she have to wait for 8 to 9 months to get F1 status? Also, will she be able to travel to India when the I539 is still processing?
    2. What is the best course of actions you would suggest us to do?

    Reply
    • Harshad,
      1. She can travel to India when pending, but her application will be abandoned as she left the country. So, technically it is fine as long as get stamping to come back.
      2. Well, Now it is a tricky situation. If she is only keen on studying and not looking for F1 benefits, then she can study on H4… If she wants all benefits, then need to wait.
      Also, stamping can be tricky as you are moving from Dual intent visa (H4 ) to Nonimmigrant visa….so, she need to prove that she will return to India.

      Reply
  38. Hello My name is Neil

    My mother came to USA on 02/22/20, Her i 94 is expiring on 08/21/2020 . During her stay she got covid and heart related issue and she needs to hospitalized and we use emergency medicaid for 15 days each hospitalization.

    My mom has return flight on 08/06/20 , but she is not medically stable to travel back to india. what are the chances of her to get her extension approved since we used emergency medicaid.

    Any advise will be very helpfull.

    Reply
    • Nirav,
      Sorry to hear on the situation. If you put in your documents and submit to be the sponsor explaining the situation of covid and heart issue, it should be fine. Your situation is extreme situation and they would consider. You should also indicate that she will be going back once her health becomes stable. So, you can try it. The sad part is, we need to wait for a long time to know the decision and extension status…If you feel she is not ready, fill the form online, take the receipt and keep a copy of the receipt. When she is ready to go, then send her back…do not need to wait for the decision. Make sure you keep all documentation safe for future and carry them for next entry to US to show, if asked.

      Reply
      • I have submitted form . With the doctor letter saying she is not medically stable .I received receipt notice right away.
        Let’s hope for the best . Thank you for help
        I also mentioned in the form that we used emergency Medicaid for emergency
        One question: how many days she can stays in while her application pending?
        If it’s less then 180 days . From when her new 180 days start? From the application date or from expiring I 94?

        Thank you

        Reply
        • Nirav,
          That’s good to hear, you have some copy of notice now. Usually 180 days. If she gets better, send her before that too. It starts from the day your previous I-94 expired. Take care.

          Reply
  39. Hi, my parents are here on visitor visa and their entry will be expired on July 30th. I have filled extension for them, mailed in the documents. USCIS received the docs on June 29th (UPS tracking number is showing that it’s delivered). We have not received anything from USCIS notifying us that they have received the docs or even the checks we sent in for fee still showing not deposited. How do I know that UPS is delivered it to the correct address?

    Reply
    • Hello Singh, I am also in same situation as yours. My Parents visa expires on July 27th and I filed for extension which USCIS as received my documents on July 3rd but did not get any notification yet that they have received the docs or even the checks we sent in for fee still showing not deposited. I heard it may take 3-4 weeks.

      Anyone has any other thoughts on this?

      Reply
      • Hi My question si for extension of i94 and feesHi

        i am in usa on b1 and my wife and child r on b2 need to extend only 5 days left
        1] i tried filing online it takes only my form and says for family fill i 539 a if i fill it how do i upload.
        2] If i fill the forms and sent it by post so do i pay for only primary applicant 370 ori have to pay for all 3 370+370 +370 AND BIOMETRICS

        Reply
    • AJ Singh,
      Well, hopefully they did. That’s the whole point of tracking right… Many have the issue with delay in notices. If you are really worried, you can do another online application and pay fee again and get online confirmation receipt.

      Reply
    • Sneh,
      They will be opening from July 13th, it varies by location, some are later. Check https://www.uscis.gov/about-us/uscis-office-closings

      Reply
  40. Hi, I submitted and I-539 and I-539A along with I-134 (supporting documents) for my in-laws that are here from India on B2 visitor visa. Their flight back to India is on August 19th, 2020. I requested a 6 month extension. Since I have done it via mail, I have only noticed they have charged the credit card of the fees. I would like to change their flight ticket dates soon before the waived cancellation fees go back into effect.

    Is it okay to change their flight ticket do this before I receive the receipt number? Do you know what the normal timeline is to receive this receipt number? Is this receipt normally sent via mail or will they email it the email address provided on the G-1145 form ( for e-notification)

    Also when I look to check the processing time of these applications, which service center should I check? I have checked the Texas Service Center since I mailed the application to the Dallas Lockbox, and it states 6 to 8 months. I have applied from Minnesota.

    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Srihari,
      If they have earlier flights, just let them fly out. No need to wait for receipt notice. Have copy of the credit card charged and mail delivery for reference. In that way, in case they ask in future at port of entry, they can tell the reason and be fine.

      Reply
      • Hi Kumar,

        Thank you for your reply. I would like them to stay longer and want the visa extended. I do not want them to take the flights in August. Is it okay to change the flights while the extension application is in the process? Is it correct that these applications are taking 6 – 8 months to process? Then they will be gone before the decision of the application. Thank you.

        Reply
        • Srihari,
          Yes, they are taking long. The general rule is, you should depart US within 6 months of filing of extension, even you do not get decision. Otherwise, it can create issues. In cases like COVID, you need to resubmit another one, if you cannot let them fly before that.

          Reply
        • hi, i have the same problem. my mom had her flight cancelled several times due the covid 19, and finally they schedule for august, 16. we filled the form I 539 requesting a extension of her visa b2, the process is pending. her I94 expired on july 30th. Her flight is schedule for august and i am afraid that they will cancel her US VISA, because she will not be here for the biometrics. we did not received any notice for the biometrics. So, can you help me??? Where should I do. She will be going home before her case finishing the processing time.

          Reply
    • Hi
      i am in usa on b1 and my wife and child r on b2 need to extend only 5 days left
      1] i tried filing online it takes only my form and says for family fill i 539 a if i fill it how do i upload.
      2] If i fill the forms and sent it by post so do i pay for only primary applicant 370 ori have to pay for all 3 370+370 +370 AND BIOMETRICS

      Reply
  41. Hi,
    My parents came to US back on Jan 26th. Their i94 is valid till jul 25th and i would like to apply for extension of stay due to covid. I heard abt i539 and i539 a. So can i file my parents in i539 and i539 a and submit the form together. Or it is mandatory to submit separate i539?

    Reply
    • Teju,
      They can file it using paper forms using I-539 and I-539A. Also, they can file it using online form, but they have to fill two forms separately and twice the fee. The biggest advantage with online is you get a receipt right away and it can be your proof…with paper base forms, it can take time sometimes like few weeks or more…

      Reply
        • sai_k,
          The fee is same, but if you apply online, you will pay full fee twice as you cannot attach dependents. If you do paper based, then you save the fee and add them to main application using 539A

          Reply
          • Hi so i 539 and i 539 a we are 3 me my wife and child of 4years need to save that extra amount.
            i am innewyork how do i quickly send to the nearest uscis center.
            and can i pay online and send form by mail

          • gopal,
            If you want to save money, then paper form is the only way. If you want instant receipt, you can send it online but need to do it seperately.

  42. I filed H4 extension & EAD together but I paid the old fee of $410 only. Can I pay the biometric fee seperately ?

    Reply
    • Raghav,
      You should have included the Biometrics fee with the application. Hopefully they issue RFE and you can send the fee check. Sometimes, they may return too…Call USCIS on this and ask them on what to do. Do update here too.

      Reply
  43. Hi,
    My wife is on L1A visa and I am currently on L2 EAD. Her project is ending on 7/1/2020 but her i-94 is valid till 4/1/2021. Since we cannot leave US due to covid and her pregnancy, her company is applying for change of status to B2.

    Can I continue to work with my company on L2 EAD till her change of status is approved to B2 or do I need to stop working as soon as the change of status is applied for?

    Would appreciate any help in answering this. Thanks!

    Best,
    Aakash

    Reply
    • Aakash,
      You need to stop working the day the L1A status or job is done. having valid I-94 is not relevant here as you will not have status. So, stop working the same day your wife stops working. Talk to your spouse’s attorney too.

      Reply
  44. Hello Admin,

    My parent’s i94 expires on August 29. DGCA has a travel restriction in place until July 15th as of now.
    I am wondering if I should apply for her B2 extension right now or wait another month. Because if I apply now, her case would seem weak because there isn’t any travel restriction on her i94 expiry, it’s only until July 15 as it stands today.
    So reason would be just anticipation of further extension. Even though it seems very likely, it’s not the same as presenting hard evidence.
    Any suggestions on this please?

    Reply
      • First, I will be losing these two months. We know processing times are quite high.

        Secondly, Parent has underlying conditions and I feel its safer for her to stay back here until situation eases in india. Maybe by end of 2020.

        Given the likelihood of sitaution worsening in both countries, I would want to apply now to use these 2 months July and August as processing time.

        Also, I heard its better to apply for extension 45 days prior to i94 expiry. I don’t understand why that is though.

        Reply
        • You did not mention about the underlying conditions. If you are planning to extend for sure then you can start your documentation and post them at least 4 weeks ahead. 45 days is suggested time because if you make a mistake and USCIS returns the docs to you then you will have sufficient time to respond back before I-94 expiry date.

          Reply
    • Arj,
      Yes, it does not sound compelling as there is still time. You should submit proof for extension. So, I would wait and see, if they extend. You may discuss with attorney too.

      Reply
      • Hi Kumar,
        I took a letter from my parent’s physician here in the US that it is not medically advised that she travel during the current pandemic due to her underlying medical conditions. It is on the physician’s letter head and duly signed.
        Would that be compelling enough, should I go ahead with online application?

        Reply
        • Arj,
          I am not sure what weightage they give for Hospital letter letters vs physicians. So, not sure…If you put in all proper documents in good faith by also attaching the medical history reports and their condition status, it will help the case.

          Reply
          • Hi Kumar,

            Thanks for the comment. I am planning on sending the online i539. I have some questions on it –
            1. Although my mother can understand the form, she needs my help to fill out the form. Can I do it from my USCIS online account?
            2. Will I be signing as the preparer, Interpreter or both?
            3. If I am filling from my online USCIS account, how should I address the petitioner in the cover letter? Should it be “My mother needs an extension… She has…” or in first person like “I need an extension because …”
            4. She will be staying with me with minimal personal expenses, should I file the Affidavit of Support? Is it something I can fill and attach to her i539 online application?

            Thank you.

          • Arj,
            1. Yes, you can.
            2. You can do both, if you are doing both things.
            3. It can be in the first person that she is requesting. You can put in your name as the interpreter in it.
            4. Well, it is optional…does not hurt, if you are in doubt.

  45. Hi, i entered US on 7 November 2019 at B1/B2 visa and had my return flight on 26 March 2020 but before that Pakistan suspended flights so i was not able to travel back. And got no flights before my I94 expires but i applied for extension on 23 April 2020 and still no response from Uscis not even for biometrics.
    Now when the flights are open i want to travel back home but still waiting for the pending decision of I539 extension.
    Can i travel with the pending application or should i wait for the decision? Will this effect my visitor visa for next trip?

    Reply
  46. Hi, my mother came to USA on June 12, 2019 on B2 and it was valid until December 11, 2019. I applied for the extension of six months on December 4, 2019 which was approved on June 15, 2020 but I have received the approval letter on June 19, 2020. There are no flights available to go back to India due to COVID 19 and she has medical condition as well that can put her life at risk so I applied for the extension again on June 19, 2020 again so USCIS will understand our situation ? and if she will get denial then her current visa will be voided and does she need to apply for B2 visa again ? and if she leaves the USA before decision come will that affect to her current visa ? can she come to the USA on same VISA?

    Reply
    • I came to the US on March 21 to transist to Japan on March 25 for a teaching job but the boarders were closed before I could get there. So I’ve been with family waiting for Japan’s boarders to re-open. My last day in the US should be September 20.

      My home country’s boarder has re-opened so I plan to return home if Japan’s boarders are still closed. However, I am exploring the idea of apply for a visa extention.

      I noticed there has been alot of comments about delays in biometrics etc. Is it worth applying for a visa extention now?

      Also, can I leave the US and re-enter like say November/December ? or would I have to wait until March of next year before I can next visit?

      Reply
      • Laela,
        What is your visa status ? Yes, there are delays with getting biometrics. If you intend to stay beyond your period of stay, you should apply for it when you are in legal status.

        Reply
          • Laela,
            If you have applied it on time ( before I-94 expiry ) and it was based on some emergency, then you can stay until the decision or up to 180 days. There are delays in getting receipts, so you can wait until you get receipt to check status of your case.

    • Hi Viral,

      I am in the same boat as yours. Just wondering if you have applied for B2 visa extension again ? I may need to do for my mom soon, so just wanted know your experience.
      Thank you

      Reply

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