Biometrics Rule Withdrawn (May 2021)

On September 11th of 2020, the Department of Homeland Security made a proposed rule, an announcement that they were going to expand the rules of who would have to receive biometrics appointments. The proposed rule had many parts and was much more detailed than that.

Read: Collection and Use of Biometrics by US Citizenship and Immigration Services; Withdrawal

A biometrics appointment is essentially a part of the immigration process for most individuals where they take your biometrics. They take your fingerprints, photo, and identifying information. That is usually only for the immigrant to be identified. That’s the biometrics appointment.

The proposed rule that came out from immigration on September 11th of 2020 was that they wanted to expand the biometrics appointment to sponsors and petitioners, and that would be United States citizen spouses and lawful permanent resident spouses. For those of you who have joint sponsors for your case such as friends and family members, who are a sponsor through the affidavit of support, that proposed rule said that immigration would be able to take biometrics from these individuals as well.

They were also going to remove the age requirement. They don’t usually do biometrics for children under a certain age. And so, they wanted to remove that age requirement and take biometrics from everyone. They also wanted to use more DNA tests to prove relationship.

It was just going to be, for lack of a better way to describe it, much more invasive.

On May 7th, immigration announced that they are withdrawing that proposed rule. They are not going to do biometrics on everybody and ask for all of these additional things from petitioners and joint sponsors.

This is completely in line with the proclamation that came out on February of 2021 from Biden. The executive order to restore faith in our legal immigration system. We want to be reminded that we are a nation of immigrants and we want to have families be able to be together and be united.

They want to remove barriers that these extra difficulties that proposed rules like the one from September 11th of 2020 and other rules created. In line with that order from the President, immigration will no longer implement that expanded biometrics rule.

This is great news also it’s already a system that has so many people waiting that with limited resources, it would just make it much more difficult for individuals to get through the process.

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