USCIS has announced changes to the Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status (Form I-539). This immigration application is commonly used by spouses and children in H-4 or L-2 status to change or extend their status while in the U.S. It can also be used to change or extend the status of those on the B visitor visa and certain other visas. As of March 21, 2019, USCIS will only accept the new form I-539, and accompanying Form I-539A, if applicable.
Impact of Changes to I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status
- – Additional Government Fee: Each applicant and co-applicant applying for an extension or change of status with Form I-539 will be required to submit an additional $85 biometrics fee.
- – Biometrics Appointment: Each applicant and co-applicant will be required to appear, in person, for a biometrics appointment. All applicants and co-applicants over the age of 14 will be subject to a FBI background check. Children under 14 must also appear for a biometrics appointment; however no background check will be performed. Rather, children under 14 will be subject to identity verification. Biometrics appointments can be expected to be scheduled 2-3 weeks after submission on application.
- – Premium Processing: Due to the additional biometrics requirement, USCIS has confirmed that premium processing will no longer be possible for concurrently filed Forms I-129 and Forms I-539. How this will impact the length of time required to adjudicate form I-539 has not yet been determined.
- – Signature: Every co-applicant must now sign their own separate Form I-539A. Parents or guardians may sign on behalf of children under 14 or any co-applicant who is not mentally competent. USCIS will accept scanned copies of wet signatures.
- If you have any questions on how these changes may affect you or your family members, do not hesitate to contact the immigration attorneys at Minsky, McCormick and Hallagan.