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  • Emily McIntosh

USCIS suspends Biometrics Requirements for H-4 & L-2 visas

On May 04, 2021, USCIS announced that, beginning May 17, 2021, it will suspend biometrics requirements for H-4, L-2, and certain E non-immigrant categories.

This decision stems for a class action lawsuit filed on March 22, 2021 by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and Wasden Banias, LLP against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in which they have challenged the long processing delays on extensions of status and extensions of employment authorization documents (EAD) for H-4 and L-2 nonimmigrant spouses.

The court declared on May 04, 2021 to suspend biometric requirement

The court's directive said that the biometric requirements for H4, L2, E1, E2 & E3 visa holders will be suspended after May 17, 2021. This is applicable for the next 24 months after which it will be revisited in May 2023. At that point it could either be extended or terminated completely.

All current biometric appointments until May 17 have to be honored and recipients are expected to fulfill their biometric appointment dates for finger printing.

This revocation of biometric requirement also applies to those filing for Form I-539, extension of stay or change of status to H4, L2 and certain E non-immigrant visas.

NOTE: USCIS still holds the right to ask for biometrics of anyone on a case-by-case basis. This would be administered for identity verification or other screening purposes.


Content in this publication is not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult a WayLit-affiliated attorney or another qualified professional.


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