United States Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) often makes changes to the forms and requirement for Recently, they have made changes to Form I-539, the main form that is used for the application to extend/change status.
This revised document will be made public March 11, 2019. And starting that day, they will only accept the newer version of the form.
Here, we’ll walk you through the main changes to Form I-539, as well as the foreign nationals who will be affected by the change.
Who Is Affected By This Change?
Form I-539 is used by many different foreign nationals. That means the recent changes to the form will impact a wide range of people, including the spouses of H-1B visa holders and L visa holders, visitors who are in the country for business or pleasure, and certain holders of F-1 and J-1 visas.
Changes To The Form I-539 Supplement
In addition to the changes to the main form, USCIS has also updated the supplement. That means you’ll have to make sure you submit any new information that is requested in the new supplement. On this supplement, you will have to list any co-applicants.
What Are The Changes To Form I-539?
The main change to Form I-539 is that every co-applicant that is listed on the foreign nationals application must submit Form I-539A. If you are under the age of 14, your parent or guardian can sign for you.
USCIS will also begin to collect biometric data with every submitted Form I-539 form. This will also involve an $85 fee. Once you submit the form, you’ll receive notice from USCIS about when your appointment is scheduled for at the Application Support Center.
What Biometric Information Will Be Collected?
When you arrive for your appointment, USCIS will take your photograph, collect fingerprints, and get your signature. It’s crucial that you allow USCIS to collect all of the requested information. They will reject any Form I-539 that is submitted without biometric information.
How The Changes Could Impact Processing Time
USCIS now has to handle more information, as well as schedule appointments to collect the biometric information. That means that it’s likely going to take even longer than before to process applications.
Why USCIS Is Requiring Biometric Information
USCIS made the changes to Form I-539 so that they could run more accurate background checks. With the biometric information, they’ll more easily be able to confirm the identity of all applicants.
This is part a wider trend where USCIS has started to increase the amount of vetting before they accept an application. Unfortunately, this means that any applicant will have less privacy, and have to take even more time to complete applications. It also means that processing times are going to increase.
Potential Legal Challenges
Any significant change in biometric information collection will often be met by a legal challenge. That means that some of the changes made by USCIS could eventually be contested in court.
However, if you are planning on submitting Form I-539 in 2019, you should be fully prepared to provide all of the information requested on the new version of the form. ‘If you do not, USCIS will likely reject your application.
Contact A Skilled Immigration Attorney
The immigration process can be confusing. That’s why you should reach out to an experienced immigration attorney to help walk you through the
At Monument Immigration, we have years of experience working in all areas of immigration law. Contact us today if you have any questions about the changes to Form-539, or about the immigration process in general.
We offer free evaluations, where we can advise you on what your legal options are. And if you choose our firm, we can make sure that your application is ready to be submitted within two business days. Contact us today to see what we can do for you.