Attending your USCIS biometrics appointment brings you closer to successfully immigrating to the U.S. If you received an ASC appointment notice, you must attend your biometrics appointment. In this article, you will learn about biometrics’s role in immigration to the U.S., what to bring to your appointment, what to expect after giving biometrics, and an explanation of the entire process.
What Is The USCIS Biometrics Appointment In 2023?
A biometrics appointment is a security procedure that identifies the applicants and assesses their criminal background and previous immigration violations. If you are required to provide biometrics, you will be sent a USCIS biometrics appointment letter (Form I-797C).
The idea behind collecting a person’s biometrics is to identify their unique physical traits and confirm their identity. It is part of the U.S. immigration process; however, many other countries follow similar procedures. At your appointment, officials will take your fingerprints along with your photograph. USCIS will also require you to provide your signature.
By going through the biometrics process, you should note that you grant the USCIS, the FBI, and any other government department permission to perform a background check on you.
USCIS Applications That Require A Biometrics Appointment
USCIS requires numerous types of applicants to complete a biometrics assessment. It is very often that applicants for green cards, work permits, or citizenship will have to attend a biometrics appointment, in particular applications for:
- Naturalization: Form N-400;
- Removing conditions: Form I-751;
- Adjusting status or registering permanent residence: Form I-485;
- Temporary protected status: Form I-821; and
- Many other types of applications.
What To Bring To Biometrics Appointment?
First, you need to bring a photo ID to confirm your identity. To avoid unnecessary USCIS biometrics appointment delays, you should bring one of the following:
- National photo-ID (issued by your home country);
- Green card;
- State-issued ID;
- Driver’s license; or
- Military ID.
Second, you must bring your Application Support Center (ASC) Biometrics Notice to your appointment.
Third, you must bring any additional documents to your appointment that the USCIS requested. This can be your employment authorization documents, travel permits, or any other documents USCIS requested.
Under no circumstances should you bring your cell phone, video or photo cameras, or weapons to your appointment.
What Happens At A USCIS Biometrics Appointment?
It would help if you aimed to arrive at least 15 minutes early for your appointment, and you will likely have to wait in line for your turn. An ASC worker will review your ASC notice and photo ID. Depending on your notice code, you may undergo different procedures.
The entire process can take around 30 minutes, depending on the workload of the ASC. You will get a number and get called when it is your turn.
Finally, after giving your biometrics, USCIS will stamp your appointment letter (Form I-797C) confirming that you have attended the appointment. This stamped appointment letter is proof that you have completed the biometrics appointment.
Meaning Of ASC Biometric Notice Codes
The code in the top right of your ASC appointment notice indicates what type of biometric processing you must undergo.
- 1 means that all of your fingers will be scanned and nothing else;
- 2 means that ASC will take a photo of you, scan your index fingers, and record your digital signature;
- 3 means that ASC will take a photo of you, scan all your fingers, and record your digital signature.
Criminal Record And USCIS Biometrics Appointment
If you have a criminal record, you might be ineligible to immigrate to the U.S. However, this depends mainly on the type of crime you have committed. If you think you have a criminal record or are sure you do, you should contact an immigration lawyer before submitting your USCIS application.
Applicants with a criminal record avoiding legal help with their immigration biometrics are at a high risk of USCIS denying their application.However, VisaNation Law Group can help you navigate the immigration process even if you have a criminal record. Fill out this contact form and schedule your consultation today.
How To Reschedule A Biometrics Appointment
To reschedule your appointment, you must call the USCIS Contact Center at 800-375-5283 (TTY 800-767-1833) and request your originally scheduled appointment. In addition, you must demonstrate good cause to satisfy the rescheduling requirements. You will only be able to reschedule your appointment within 30 days of your original one.
If you fail to reschedule your appointment and fail to attend it, the USCIS will continue your application without considering your biometrics. In that case, your application will likely be denied due to missing biometrics data.
It is possible to request a mobile biometrics appointment if you cannot attend ASC for an in-person visit. You can only qualify for this if you have a serious medical condition. You must follow the instructions on your notice regarding the people with disabilities section.
Biometrics Appointment For Families
On many occasions, USCIS will try to schedule biometrics appointments for all family members simultaneously. However, that is not always the case.
The ASC may allow family members to complete biometric assessment even without a scheduled timeslot as long as one of the members has already received their ASC appointment notice. After that, it is entirely up to the discretion of the ASC, and they may refuse to accommodate this.
If your child is under 14 years old, they will not be required to provide a signature during their ASC appointment. Their parent or legal guardian may also sign on the child’s behalf. Children under 14 years old don’t need to pay the biometrics fee. However, this does not mean that your child is exempt from giving biometrics. If your child receives a biometrics notice, they must attend the appointment.
Where Will the Biometrics Appointment Be Held?
The exact time, date, and location of your USCIS biometrics appointment are on your ASC appointment notice.
If you are in the U.S., you will attend the ASC nearest to the home address you provided on your application. You can use the USCIS tool to find the closes ASC to you.
If you are outside of the U.S., your appointment will be at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate, where your immigration application is being processed.
When Will I Get A Response After Biometrics?
You can expect to receive the outcome of your biometrics appointment and instructions on what you have to do next in around 5 – 11 months after your appointment. The timeframes depend on which USCIS office is processing your application. Due to a heavy workload, some offices have much longer processing times than others. In addition, the processing times can be significantly increased if you have a criminal record or if there are issues with your biometrics or background check. You can check the status of your case online.
What Happens After USCIS Biometrics Appointment?
After the officer stamps your ASC appointment notice, you need to make sure to keep it safe. This stamped Form I-797C is your proof that you have attended your biometrics appointment.
Some applicants receive a second biometrics notice after attending the first appointment. USCIS usually requires applicants to attend a second appointment because their fingerprints were smudged during their first visit. You don’t need to pay for the second appointment.
After you are entirely done with biometrics, your next steps may vary. For example, some applicants must attend an interview with a visa officer.
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs
Below you will find answers to the most commonly asked questions about USCIS biometrics appointments.
How long does it take for USCIS to schedule a biometrics appointment?
Depending on your application, you can expect to receive a biometrics appointment date in 5 – 11 weeks after filing your application. However, you should note that these timeframes largely depend on the USCIS center processing your case.
What to wear to your biometrics appointment?
USCS does not have any dress code requirements for your biometrics appointment. However, considering that USCIS will take a photo of yourself during the appointment, you may want to prepare accordingly and dress appropriately.
What do they do at biometrics appointments?
At your appointment, USCIS will take your fingerprints along with a photo, and you will provide a digital signature. Then, USCIS collects that information to complete FBI and criminal background checks.
What is ASC appointment notice Code 3?
If you received a Code 3 ASC notice, you must provide a digital signature, photo, and fingerprint of all of your fingers during your biometrics appointment.
Is a biometrics appointment the same as an interview?
No, your biometrics appointment is separate from an interview. At your biometrics appointment, you will only provide information about your identity. After completing your biometrics, you will be sent details about your interview and the next steps you must follow.
How long after your biometrics appointment is the interview?
USCIS processing times depend on the location where you submitted your biometrics. It can take anywhere from 5 – 11 months to receive details about your interview. Processing center workloads vary.
Does USCIS allow biometrics appointment walk-ins in 2023?
Currently, in 2023, you cannot walk in for biometrics at any ASCs due to Covid-19 reasons.
What happens if you miss your biometrics appointment?
If you miss your appointment, the USCIS will consider your application without biometrics and any other documents required to bring to your appointment. In many cases, applicants who miss their biometrics appointment negatively impact their immigration applications.