Starting October 1, 2023, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has removed the $85 biometric services fee for everyone filling out Form I-539. This form is used by people who want to extend or change their nonimmigrant status, such as H-4, L-2, E, and other categories.
Why This Matters?
Before, most people filling out Form I-539 had to pay an extra $85 and go through biometric screening, where fingerprints, photographs, and digital signatures were collected. This caused a lot of delays and was a headache for applicants, leading to many lawsuits against USCIS. After some temporary fixes, this new change will be here to stay, making the process cheaper and simpler for applicants.
- No More Fees: No one filling out I-539 will have to pay the $85 fee anymore.
- Fewer Appointments: Most people won’t have to go for a biometric services appointment, but USCIS might still ask for it if they think it’s necessary.
- Easier Process: If anyone accidentally pays the biometric fee after October 1, USCIS will sort it out, returning separate payments and only charging the application fee for combined payments.
A Welcome Change
This change is a big relief for applicants, cutting costs and reducing delays. It’s a step forward in making the immigration process more user-friendly and is expected to be a positive change for all future applicants. USCIS aims to be more efficient and tackle the backlog of applications that piled up, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
More Information: For more details, visit the USCIS website.