The changes that we are discussing below are alarming and are going to impact all dependents of employment-based beneficiaries/changes of status to students/visitor visa extensions. Be aware of the extra fees needed besides the new forms. This seems to be the USCIS way to track people by having them submit to biometrics.
The Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status has been revised and will be published on the USCIS website on March 8, 2019. The 12/23/16 version of Form I-539 will be removed from uscis.gov on March 8, but a two-week grace period will be in place, until close of business on March 21, for that version to be received by USCIS. Starting on March 22, ONLY the revised Form I-539 with an edition date of 02/04/19 will be accepted. Any Form I-539 with an edition date of 12/23/16, or earlier, that is received by USCIS after March 21 will be rejected.
A new Form I-539A, Supplemental Information for Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, will also be published on the Form I-539 webpage on March 8. Form I-539A replaces the Supplement A provided in previous versions of Form I-539. Form I-539A can only be submitted with Form I-539; it cannot be filed as a standalone form.
The revised Form I-539 includes the following significant changes:
• Every co-applicant included on the primary applicant’s Form I-539 must submit and sign a separate Form I-539A, which will be available on the Form I-539 webpage on March 8. Parents or guardians may sign on behalf of children under 14 or any co-applicant who is not mentally competent to sign.
• Every applicant and co-applicant must pay an $85 biometric services fee, except certain A, G, and NATO nonimmigrants as noted in the new Form I-539 Instructions to be published on March 8.
• Every applicant and co-applicant will receive a biometric services appointment notice, regardless of age, containing their individual receipt number. The biometric services appointments will be scheduled at the Application Support Center (ASC) closest to the primary applicant’s address. Co-applicants who wish to be scheduled at a different ASC location should file a separate Form I-539.
USCIS will reject any revised Form I-539 that is missing any of the required signatures or biometrics fees, including those required for Form I-539A.