Biometrics appointments being waived. This is the great news.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with what a biometrics appointment is, I’d like to give you a little bit of a background of exactly what it is. I will speak to applications as it relates to immigration for couples. That is what we focus on here at our firm.
In certain types of applications, specifically an adjustment of status for individuals who are applying for their green card here within the United States, part of the process is that you’ll receive a biometrics notice to go to a local USCIS office to have your fingerprints taken and for them to take your information and photos. Basically, they’re taking your biometrics.
So what we’re seeing because of Covid happening in 2020, immigration started making special provisions and taking special steps to limit the amount of exposure people have to each other in the immigration offices and the amount of appointments. One of the things they did was that they started waiving biometrics appointments. We’re seeing that that’s pretty common now and we expect that that will continue through 2021 because unfortunately, no one knows when Covid will end. But we see that in the foreseeable future that that will continue being a common place. That biometrics appointments will continue being waived.
What that means is that if you have recently had your fingerprints taken by immigration, typically within the past year or two for another type of immigration application; for example, individuals who have had filed a removal conditions application and then you’re getting ready to file for your naturalization, they likely have your fingerprints in the system already. So, they would just waive your biometrics appointment for your naturalization process.
If they do that, they’ll send you a notification letting you know your biometrics appointment has been waived and that you won’t have to attend. So, that’s great news. One less thing for you to have to worry about doing and you’ll get that notice from immigration letting you know that.
An important tip we want to let you know is that similar to what we do here in our office for all of our clients is that we recommend you to send separate money orders for the government fees. If you look on the USCIS website for adjustment of status or removal conditions or naturalization, you’ll see that they have the government fees separate. They have a separate $85 biometrics fee. What some people do is they’ll write a check for the naturalization and the biometrics fee altogether but we recommend sending two separate checks or two separate money orders. One for the application and one for the biometrics fee of $85.
Because we have seen immigration doing, if they decide to waive the biometrics appointment, they’ll return the $85. That doesn’t always happen. Immigration kind of loves to do whatever they want but we have found if you send the two separate checks and if they decide to waive the appointment, they would return that government fee of $85 for your biometrics appointment.
Hopefully, that was helpful news and so you can pay attention to that as you’re waiting for your biometrics notice to come or a waiver of your biometrics appointment.