WASHINGTON, DC – In a recent announcement, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) revealed that they will be exempting the biometric services fee for Form I-539, the Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status.
Effective October 1st, the $85 biometric services fee will be waived as an integral part of the Form I-539 application process. Applicants will no longer need to make this payment if their application is postmarked on or after the aforementioned date.
However, for those who submit Form I-539 before October 1st, a select number of filers may still be slated for an ASC (Application Support Center) appointment, which they should attend as scheduled. After the October 1st deadline, it is expected that most applicants will not be required to attend a biometric services appointment. Exceptions will only be made if USCIS deems biometric data collection necessary, in which case, applicants will receive a notice detailing the procedure.
In case of inadvertently submitting the biometric services fee separately from the Form I-539 fee, USCIS has assured that the biometric services fee will be refunded, and the Form I-539 will be accepted. However, combining the biometric services fee with the paper Form I-539 filing fee will result in the rejection of the application. Furthermore, if an applicant mistakenly authorizes a credit card payment that lumps the biometric services fee with the Form I-539 filing fee, USCIS will only charge the filing fee.
This announcement by USCIS aims to streamline the application process and alleviate financial burdens for those seeking to extend or change their nonimmigrant status.