New I-539 form to require Biometrics from March 11, 2019
USCIS recently announced a new I-539 form which will require signatures of all applicants as well as the submission of an $85.00 biometric fee.
Unfortunately the form is not yet available and is not expected to be available until March 11, 2019. The new edition of the form will be 02/04/2019 and USCIS will only accept this version for those applications received or on after March 11.
USCIS will also be publishing a new I-539A, Supplemental Information for Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. Every co-applicant included on the I-539 will need to sign a separate I-539A. Parents/Guardians can sign on behalf of their children who are under the age of 14. Under the existing and previous versions of the form only the principal applicant was required to sign.
Each I-539 applicant and co-applicant will be required to pay an $85.00 biometric fee and attend an Application Support Center to provide biometrics.
This new provision will apply to the majority of I-539 applicants to include (but not limited to) those seeking an extension or change of status to H-4, B-1/B-2 visa, L-2, F-1 and J-1.
The collection of biometrics can only mean one thing- longer processing times. It remains to be seen how USCIS will treat I-539 applications that are filed with an I-129 application in premium processing.
February 28, 2019.