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7 Things to Expect on your Biometric Appointment
Congratulations! You have a biometrics appointment! This means you are almost at the tail end of your United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) application.
You may be scared out of your wits. But there is no need to be. USCIS will just simply take your photo, fingerprints, and your digital signature.
However, take note that by submitting your biometric information, you are authorizing the USCIS to perform a background check on you.
The result of these background and security checks will determine the approval or denial of your application.
In this article, we will share with you what happens at your biometrics appointment, what to expect, and who should be concerned.
Who should be present at the biometrics appointment?
Your biometrics appointment is usually scheduled between 5 to 8 weeks since you filed your immigration application.
On the day of your appointment, you are the only one who needs to be present. Your sponsor does not need to be there.
An accredited representative or your attorney also does not need to be there. Even if they are the ones who submitted the original petition, application, or request to USCIS.
Where will the biometrics appointment take place?
Your biometrics appointment will be held at a USCIS-authorized “Application Support Center” also known as ASC.
Aside from making sure you have all the necessary documents, you should be at the ASC at least 15 minutes before the scheduled appointment time shown on your appointment notice
If you are late, you might miss your appointment and this would mean delays in your application, or worse, the USCIS might think you have abandoned your application.
Do note that due to COVID-19, the ASC may not accept walk-in appointments.
Also, for health and safety reasons, the building may have COVID-19 protocols that you will need to follow such as wearing masks, social distancing, and the number of people allowed inside at a time. As such, be mindful of these.
You won’t be allowed to enter the building if you have COVID-19 or any of its symptoms, or have been in close contact with someone who has it. If this happens, you might need to reschedule your appointment by calling the USCIS Contact Center.
What happens when you get to the ASC?
The appointment lasts for about 15-20 minutes. You will be in and out in no time.
When you arrive at the ASC, a receptionist will review your Appointment Notice and your valid ID. You will be given a number showing your place in line, as well as a processing form, once your identity and appointment are confirmed.
Take a seat and wait for the biometrics officer to call your number. When the biometrics officer calls your ticket number, hand over your documents to the officer so he or she can review and enter your information into the system.
Your ASC Biometrics Appointment Notice includes a code in the top right part of the letter. The code will let you know the type of biometrics processing that will be done:
- Code 1 – Fingerprinting for ten prints only.
- Code 2 – Index finger press print, photo, and signature.
- Code 3 – Fingerprinting for ten prints, index finger press print, photo, and signature.
Once finished, the biometrics officer will put a stamp on your appointment notice confirming that you showed up.
Keep this document safe, in case you are later asked for it or USCIS cannot find its record stating that you indeed came to the appointment.
The officer will then return your ID and your stamped appointment notice.
Completing your biometrics appointment
After the stamped appointment notice, you’re done!
Don’t panic if you get another biometrics appointment even after you think you have already attended one. There are cases where the USCIS needs to retake your fingerprints to complete the background check.
This second appointment is free of charge.
Consult with an immigration attorney
You can call us today if you want to discuss your case or need help on your citizenship application, or even your immigration journey, whether it is about getting a green card or applying for naturalization.
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