Biometrics Appointments and Other Information for Pending Adjustment of Status Applications

When will I be scheduled for a biometrics appointment?

After the USCIS receives the application, the USCIS will provide a biometrics appointment notice with the location of the nearest USCIS authorized Application Support Center (ACS). There is no specific timeframe for scheduling of the biometrics appointments, although most are scheduled within 60-120 days of filing. Note that the results of the fingerprints are only good for 15 months, so if an application is pending longer than 15 months (likely for quota backlogged cases), an individual may need to be re-printed. For this reason, USCIS sometimes elects to delay biometrics processing to avoid multiple visits to the Application Support Center.

Where will USCIS send the biometrics appointment notice?

The USCIS should issue two copies of the appointment notice, one which comes to our firm (legal counsel) and one which goes to the applicant’s home address. However, in some cases the USCIS sends both copies to our firm. Please note that as soon as we receive our copy of the appointment notice we will contact the applicant to confirm that that applicant has received a copy and will attend the appointment as scheduled. If a copy of the appointment letter is not received by the applicant, we will forward our courtesy copy to the applicant.

I received my biometrics appointment, but a member of my family did not. What should I do?

Due to the volume of cases the USCIS processes, although all cases for a family may be filed together, it is not at all unusual for notices (receipt, biometrics, approvals, etc.) to be mailed at different times. However, if more than 2 weeks have passed and the appointment notices for a spouse/child have not been received, please let us know and we can make an inquiry with the USCIS.

I received my biometrics appointment, but I am scheduled to appear in a city in which I do not reside. What should I do?

The applicant may visit the ASC closest to the applicant’s residence on or prior to the scheduled appointment date. The ASC should take his/her biometrics on a walk-in basis (without an appointment) given that the USCIS scheduled the appointment for the wrong location. To find the ASC closest to your residence, go to http://www.uscis.gov/.

If the local ASC will not take the applicant’s biometrics and they will not assist the applicant with rescheduling the appointment, please let us know right away so we can request that the appointment be rescheduled. Please note that the rescheduling request must be made before the appointment date has passed. Therefore, it would be best to request this of the local ASC at least 3 business days prior to the scheduled appointment.

If the applicant prefers not to go to the ASC without an appointment, please let us know right away so that we may submit an official request to the USCIS to reschedule the appointment. Note that we cannot predict how long it will take the USCIS to reschedule the appointment.

What if I am unable to attend the biometrics appointment?

Please notify our firm as soon as possible if attending the scheduled appointment is not possible. If an individual is unable to attend the appointment on the scheduled date and time, the individual may consider visiting the ASC prior to the scheduled appointment date and request that his/her biometrics be taken on a walk-in basis (without an appointment). It is best for the individual to carry documentation which supports the fact that he/she will be unavailable on the scheduled date. Please note that if an individual chooses to attempt this option, it is best to do so at least 3 business days prior to the appointment. In the event that the ASC will not accommodate the walk-in request or the individual prefers to reschedule the appointment without attempting a walk-in request, we can contact the USCIS to reschedule the biometrics appointment but it must be done in writing and in advance of the appointment. It is not possible to call the ASC or the USCIS to reschedule an appointment. Please note that failure to attend a schedule appointment risks denial of the application.

I will be traveling abroad in the near future, what happens if my biometrics appointment is scheduled during the time I am abroad?

Please notify our firm of any international travel dates and provide us with an e-mail address where you may be reached during travel.  If an appointment notice arrives, we will contact you to determine if you plan to return for the appointment, or if we should reschedule the appointment. If we need to reschedule the appointment, we will request an appointment date subsequent to the anticipated return to the U.S.

Will it delay or have a negative impact on my case if I reschedule my appointment?

We do not know how long it will take USCIS to reschedule the appointment. However, as noted above, since the results of the fingerprints are only good for 15 months, if an Adjustment of Status application is pending longer than 15 months (likely for quota backlogged cases), it is likely biometrics will need to be re-taken. Therefore, given current processing times for Adjustment of Status cases, in addition to quota backlogs, a delay in the initial biometrics appointment is unlikely to delay the ultimate adjudication of a case, as the biometrics will still be completed well before the Adjustment of Status application is ready for final adjudication.

Although rare, it does occasionally happen that USCIS does not properly record the request for rescheduling of the appointment, and erroneously determines that the applicant has missed his/her biometrics appointment. A denial notice is then generated for the Adjustment of Status application, stating it has been denied due to abandonment. We must then request that the Adjustment of Status application be re-opened and provide proof that the reschedule request was submitted prior to the biometrics appointment date, or that the individual attended an earlier appointment. USCIS will then re-open the case.

Note that multiple requests for rescheduling an appointment without valid justification could result in denial of the application.

When will I get the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card and Advance Parole (AP) document?

Processing times vary by Service Center and USCIS workload.  Current processing times are available at www.uscis.gov.  If the USCIS does not adjudicate the applications within the posted processing time, our office can send a status inquiry. Because processing times can be lengthy, all requests for renewals/extensions need to be submitted to the USCIS at least 180 days prior to the expiration of the current document in order to receive the renewal in a timely manner.  Please note that once issued, both the EAD card and the Advance Parole document will be sent by the USCIS to our office. Our office will notify the applicant via email when the documents are received. We will either let the applicant know when he/she may pick-up the documents from our office, or will forward the documents to the applicant via Federal Express.

What if I change my residential address?

All non-U.S. citizens need to notify USCIS of an address change by completing Form AR-11 at www.uscis.gov within 10 days of any change of address, even a temporary change of address,. A separate AR-11 must be completed for each non-U.S. citizen family member in the U.S. We recommend that proof of filing Form AR-11 be kept by the applicant for his/her records. Further, please notify our firm of any change of address so that we may separately notify the USCIS to ensure that this information is forwarded to the pending Adjustment of Status Application.

Can I change employers during this process?

Once an Adjustment of Status application has been pending for 180 days with the USCIS, the green card may “vest” in employment-based cases and the individual may be entitled to continue their green card case as long as they are the beneficiary of an approved I-140 Immigrant Petition and are still employed in the same or similar job or occupation, but not necessarily with the same employer.  Please note that the provision of law is NOT available if Consular Processing is chosen.

Why is my case held for background checks? How long will the background checks take?

Each applicant is subject to background checks. The background checks are performed by various government agencies and their processing is beyond the control of the USCIS. As such, it is difficult to predict how long the background checks will take.