In this informative guide, you’re going to learn step by step everything you need to know to have a successful USCIS biometrics appointment in 2022. You will also get some really helpful tips for your biometrics appointment that no one talks about. Getting to the USCIS biometrics appointment is an important stage in your immigration journey.
If you’ve applied for an immigration benefit to USCIS, such as an application for a green card or an application for a change of status, you might be required to provide your biometric information as part of your application process.
This educative guide will teach you everything that you can expect at your USCS biometrics appointment, and also some tips that can help you have a good experience at the USCIS Application Support Center, where your biometrics are going to be collected.
What is USCIS biometrics appointment?
Some people worry about what is involved, especially when they hear the word “Biometrics”. You should not scared about the word “Biometrics”.
All this means is that during your appointment, you will be asked to provide information that would be used to verify your identity. This identifiable information to be collected during your appointment will be your fingerprints and your photograph.
By submitting your biometric information, you will be giving USCIS permission to perform a criminal background search on you. And the outcome of this background search will be used to either approve or deny your application.
What you should know about this appointment is that it’s not going to be an interview experience, not even close to that.
All the USCIS biometrics appointment is an opportunity for USCIS to see you in person and to collect some identifiable metrics, such as your fingerprints and a photograph of yourself.
How long does it take for USCIS to send biometrics appointment?
If your USCIS application requires your biometrics information, USCIS will send you a biometrics appointment notice. Usually, you can expect to receive this biometrics notice from USCIS within 12 weeks after you file your immigration application. Although, your wait time will depend on the USCIS service center processing your case.
During this appointment, you don’t have to pay a fee for the collection of your biometrics as you would have already paid this fee at the time you filed your application to USCIS.
Your appointments notice will also come with a worksheet that has to be completed before you attend your biometrics appointment. When you receive the biometrics notice, it’s going to have the location of the USCIS Application Support Center where your biometrics information is going to be collected. It’s also going to have the scheduled date and time of your appointment.
Something else to pay attention to on this form is a code number that appears on the top right corner. This code number could take the number 1, number 2, or number 3. And these numbers will decide what type of biometric information that you’re going to be required to provide on the day of your appointment.
You will learn more about the differences between these code numbers, 1, 2, 3, as you read on, but for now, let’s talk about what you should bring during your appointment.
Document Required for the USCIS Biometric Appointment
On the day of your appointment, you’re going to need to have a valid photo identification. This could be a valid driver’s license, it could be your passport, and for certain applicants, a green card could be a required form of identification during your appointment.
You’re also going to need the original copy of your Biometrics Appointment Notice that USCIS sent to you
Due to health and safety precaution, the application support center may not accept walk in appointments. As they need to limit the capacity of visitors within the building at all times.
This was compiled while the Covid-19 Pandemic is still ongoing. So in certain locations, you might be required to bring with you a face covering. Otherwise, you may not be granted access into the building.
So make sure go there with your face mask for your appointment and be prepared to keep this on at all times.
On the day of your appointment, you should plan to get there on time and preferably you should get there about 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment time shown on your appointment notice (or Form I-797C).
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU GET TO THE APPLICATION SUPPORT CENTER (ASC)?
When you show up at the Application Support Center, you’re going to notice signs on the door that tell you that the use of electronic devices are prohibited. So the first thing you should do is to turn off your phone, if you’re going to be taking that into the building.
Once you walk into the building, you’re going to meet a receptionist who’s going to review your photo identification and will also review your biometrics appointments notice.
Once this receptionist confirms your identity and reviews your biometrics appointments notice, you are going to be handed a processing form and the ticket number.
This processing form that will be handed to you is just for the use of the Biometrics Officers and after that you will be asked to take a seat and wait for a Biometrics Officer to call your ticket number.
Once a Biometrics Officer calls you by your ticket number, you will walk up to the Biometrics Officer and hand in all your documents, including the processing form.
The Biometrics Officer will review all your documents and will then enter your information into a computer.
Codes 2 and 3
Depending on the code number that appears on your biometrics appointment notice (Form I-797C), what you’re going to be asked to do at this point is going to vary. You will be asked to scan some or all of your fingers, provide an electronic signature, or have your photo taken.
If your code number states code 2 or 3, a Biometrics Officer will ask you to take a seat where your digital photograph will be taken. And on the other hand, if your code number States code 1, your digital photograph will not be taken.
Scanning of Fingerprints
When it comes to the scanning of your fingerprints, if you have code 1, then you can expect to get all your fingerprints scanned. If you have code 2, you’re only going to have your left and right index fingers scanned. And if you have code number 3, again, just like code 1, you can expect to have all your fingerprints captured.
Don’t worry about making any mistakes with the scanning of your fingerprints as the Biometrics Officer is going to be there to make sure that your fingerprints are properly scanned into the system.
What happens after Biometrics Appointment
After your fingerprints have been scanned, you will be asked to provide your electronic signature. Once this process has been completed, the Biometrics Officer will stamp your form I-797C, marking that your biometrics information has been collected.
After that, your job is done and you may leave the Application Support Center. The total time spent during your appointment shouldn’t exceed 20 minutes. But in some cases where you have a lot of people waiting before you, or if you have few Biometrics officers, your appointment time could exceed 20 minutes.
Depending on what your USCIS application, for example, if it’s an adjustment of status application, after the uscis biometrics appointment, you’ll have the green card interview next.
Most of these biometrics offices are very professional and very polite. So you should expect your experience to be quite pleasant. You should understand that by providing your biometrics information to USCIS, you are granting USCIS permission to conduct a criminal background search on you.
If you have a criminal history and you’re worried about the outcome of this background search and how that could affect your immigration application, then it is highly recommend you seek the counseling of an experienced immigration attorney.
Thanks for reading this guide and I hope you found it helpful.
DISCLAIMER: This guide and content is designed for general information only and is NOT legal advice. The information presented in this guide should not be construed to be formal legal advice. If you need legal advice, you may contact a licensed attorney.
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