New I-539 Form USCIS Info

New I-539 form USCIS – Biometrics Required, Fee- H4, L2[2020]

In US Immigration - Visas by KumarUpdated : 485 Comments

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. We cover the details of the changes, impact to processing times in general since the change.

Why New I-539 form ? Visa Types Impacted ?

One of the fundamental reason for the new 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”, they want to protect America from foreign Terrorists and individuals who can cause threat. Wit the New I-539 form, USCIS 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 New I-539 Form ?

There are some subtle changes in the I-539 form by pages. The form size is reduced to 7 pages from 9 pages in the past version. Small changes happened to 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. Below is how you can identify if you are on the New form or not.

How to check New I-539 Form USCIS

Added New I-539A form for Co-Applicants

The I-539A form is the new form created to have 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.

Biometrics Fee for I-539, How to Pay ?

In addition to standard I-539 form fee of $370 USD, there is an additional $85 biometric fee for every applicant and co-applicant. 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.

Changes in I-539 Processing with Biometrics

In the first step of submitting application, the process with new I-539 form is pretty much same as the past, you complete the I-539 application form, but now you would use the new form. Besides, you would also attach any 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.

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.

How will Biometric delay the overall H4 and H4 EAD processing for Premium Processing ?

Yes, there will be some delay in the processing due the additional overhead of the biometric process. As per USCIS, which is from the conference call they hosted, they typically 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). They said that you would get seven days advance notice for biometrics and gets updated immediately. This may not have much impact for regular processing as there is not too much delay. But for premium processing petitions, there will be impact.  

USCIS said in their stakeholder call that they will have the 15 day clock and SLA for H1B petitions and have a decision for them as before, but for the H4 and H4 EAD petitions filed together H1B petition, they 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.  So,  for premium processing petitions, you can expect anywhere from 17 days or so delay for the H4 petitions decisions and H4 EADs to come. Again, this is the guidance, but USCIS is not mandated to process H4 and H4 EADs within the timeframe as H4 and H4 EAD are not subject to the SLA of 15 days of premium or anything as such.

What happens at Application Support Center for Biometrics ?

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).  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.

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

USCIS H4 Biometrics - Travel and Outside of the country

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. 

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 ?

As per USCIS, in their conference call, they indicated 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.

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.

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


Comments ( 485 )

  1. Destiny Santos

    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.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      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.

      1. Destiny Santos

        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.

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          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

  2. Preet

    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.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      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…

  3. Nikita Tandon

    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.

    1. Sachin Malhotra

      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…

      1. administrator
        Kumar

        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.

      2. Nikita

        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.

  4. Luciani

    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?

    1. Khan

      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

  5. Sam

    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 🙂

        1. Jose Miguel Sierra

          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

        2. Nirmala

          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!!

  6. Shwetha

    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.

    1. Samy

      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

      1. administrator
        Kumar

        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.

        1. samy

          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

          1. administrator
            Kumar

            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.

  7. samy

    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 ?

      1. Samy

        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

  8. Vikram

    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

  9. Raj

    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.

  10. GGG

    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?

  11. John Doe

    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.

    1. carol

      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

  12. Raju

    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

  13. Afshin

    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?

      1. Maike Dunn

        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.

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          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.

          1. Maike Dunn

            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?

          2. administrator
            Kumar

            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.

    1. Raju

      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.

  14. Balakrishna

    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

  15. Rosh

    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?

  16. Ranganadh

    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.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Ranganadh,
      It is usually mandatory for the person to go. This may vary by ASC and their choice. Try calling the USCIS customer service or ASC and ask for this change.

    2. Durga

      Hi, may I know when you filed for extension? I filed for my mom in August and am trying to see how long it would take for her to receive her biometrics appointment. We are in Atlanta.

      1. Vanina

        Hi! I have sent documentation for extension of visit (I have a B2 visa) to Texas, because I had my son and husband in same application. Do you know how long does it take to have a case number, or something that allow me to know that they received my petition?. Thank you so much!

  17. Vydyula Kumar

    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!

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      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.

      1. Samy

        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

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          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.

          1. Jaiganesh Natarajan

            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?

      2. Vydyula Kumar

        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.

    2. Bhargavi

      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

      1. administrator
        Kumar

        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.

    3. samy

      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

      1. Vydyula Kumar

        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.

    4. Abbie

      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!

  18. Sam

    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

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Sam,
      No, usually you need to have the COS approved. Talk to DSO at the school. She is still in F2 or in period of authorized stay.

    2. Raj

      Hi,

      I am currently in F2 visa and planning to apply for F1 visa through Change of Status (COS). Do you know what is an estimated approximate time for COS from F2 to F1?

  19. EDUARDO ROJAS

    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.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      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…

  20. Vanessa

    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

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      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.

      1. Ana

        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

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          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.

          1. Ana

            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

          2. administrator
            Kumar

            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.

    2. Pallavi

      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.

  21. farjia rashid

    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

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      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.

  22. Rakesh Upadhyay

    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

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      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.

      1. Jeet

        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.

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          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..

  23. Jose Luis Cedeno

    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

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      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.

  24. Vern

    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.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      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.

      1. Eloy Jerviz

        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.

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          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…

          1. samy

            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 ?

    2. Luciani

      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?

  25. Harshad

    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?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      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.

  26. Nirav Shah

    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.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      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.

      1. Nirav

        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

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          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.

  27. AJ Singh

    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?

    1. Raju

      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?

      1. gopal jain

        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

    2. administrator
      Kumar

      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.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      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

  28. Srihari

    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.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      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.

      1. Srihari

        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.

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          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.

        1. ana emerenciano

          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.

    2. gopal jain

      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

  29. Teju

    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?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      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…

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          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

          1. gopal jain

            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

          2. administrator
            Kumar

            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.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      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.

  30. Aakash

    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

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      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.

  31. Arj

    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?

      1. Arj

        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.

        1. Raj

          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.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      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.

      1. Arj

        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?

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          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.

          1. Arj

            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.

          2. administrator
            Kumar

            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.

  32. Sana

    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?

  33. Viral

    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?

    1. Laela

      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?

      1. administrator
        Kumar

        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.

          1. administrator
            Kumar

            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.

    2. Samy

      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

Leave a Comment

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