On Sept. 25, 2023, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that effective Oct. 1, 2023, applicants will no longer have to pay the $85 biometric services fee when filing Form, I-539, the Application to Extend or Change Nonimmigrant Status. This exemption applies to all applicants whose applications are postmarked on or after Oct. 1, 2023, including those seeking extensions of stay or changes of status to H-4, L-2, E-1, E-2, or E-3 nonimmigrant categories.
However, if you file Form I-539 prior to Oct. 1, certain filers will still be scheduled for an ASC appointment and should still attend that appointment as scheduled. In most cases, after Oct. 1 applicants will not be scheduled to attend a biometric services appointment. However, if USCIS determines that biometrics are required, the applicant will receive a notice with information about appearing for their biometric services appointment.
If you mistakenly submit the biometric services fee separately from the Form I-539 fee, USCIS will return the biometric services fee and process your Form I-539. But, if the biometric services fee is combined with the Form I-539 filing fee, the entire application will be rejected. If a credit card payment combines both fees, USCIS will accept the application and only charge the application fee. If your application is rejected, you must promptly resubmit it before your present nonimmigrant status expires.
This article, under no circumstances, acts as legal advice; therefore, for any immigration questions, please contact your Attorney or the Ahluwalia Law Offices, P.C. (Team ALO).