Fingerprint Review was Completed

What does the status “Fingerprint review was completed” mean? 

If your case status changes to “fingerprint review were completed”, it means that your background check has been done and the biometric process is completed. That is in no way saying that your particular case has been accepted by USCIS. In other words, it means that your fingerprint has been reviewed by the authorities and that this particular case is being prepared to be moved upstairs. It may typically take about 150 to 300 days for the background checks including a fingerprint review to complete before you get the update stating “Fingerprint review was completed“. 

Why is fingerprinting a compulsory step of the application process?

Fingerprinting, also known as ‘ten printing’ is the process where you need to provide the fingerprint of all your ten fingers as a part of your background verification process. It is considered a crucial and compulsory step in the visa application process because it is used to verify your identity and track a criminal record if any. 

In most cases, the USCIS requires applicants to schedule a biometric appointment and provide their fingerprints before the visa interview is in place, so ideally, you should have received the status “Fingerprint review was completed” before your Visa Interview. In some situations, the embassy officials may ask you to provide a fingerprint during the visa interview as well as re-validate or cross-check your identity if they think that there is some issue that needs to be sorted so don’t panic if a visa officer asks you to do this very thing. You may also be asked to provide your fingerprint at other entry points or checkpoints as a security measure.

There are some exceptions…

Now, as much as fingerprinting is a mandatory requirement for all individuals who are applying for a US visa, there are few exceptional cases to this rule. Children who are below the age of 14, and adults who are above the age of 79, and the individuals who come under A-1, A-2, C-3, G-1, G2, G-3, NATO visa category do not require providing fingerprints. 

What part of the visa application process does the fingerprinting take place? What are the steps you can take to ensure that this process goes smoothly?

When you submit your visa application form, you need to complete your biometric application and pay the fees for the appointment along with the application fee. Once USCIS received your application and the fees, and appointment notice will be sent to your registered address which will have the details of the nearest site from where you live or an OFC (offsite facilitation center)/ VAC (Visa Application Center) where you have visited on a given date and provide your fingerprints. 

It may take about 21 to 56 days for USCIS to share a letter with you. This duration totally depends on the type of visa it is, which country you belong to etc.

Follow the steps

Now there are a few steps that you need to take to ensure that your fingerprinting process goes smoothly without any hassle: 

  1. Make sure to take a biometric appointment first before you go for the process. Remember that the date of your biometric appointment should be prior to that of the visa interview date. 

    You can plan the visit for your fingerprinting process through ‘InfoPass’. It is an online service the USCIS has provided to the visa applicants, when and if you have finally decided to take that leap to a different country and log into USCIS online. You can also book the appointment through this link if you are applying for a visa from India.
  1. On the day of the appointment, make sure to be at the center on time. Be sure to carry the appointment letter or the notification letter sent by the USCIS and other documents as instructed by them. 
  1. The visa officers will also take your photograph as another measure of identity.
  1. You may be asked to fill out an application form that has questions like you what visa application is this biometric for and other details. Please make sure to provide all the information accurately and with honesty to ensure smooth processing of your application.
  1. Fingerprinting process: You will be asked to share the prince of all ten fingers using a fingerprinting machine. In some situations, if there is no clarity in the prints that you share,  the authorities may reject your biometric application, and you may have to undergo the process one more time. If you are going for fingerprinting for the second time due to unclear data, you do not have to pay the fee again. 

    If you have an injury on any of the fingers on the day of your biometric appointment, you will have to rebook your appointment for another day after your finger heals. This is because USCIS needs you to give a fingerprint for all the fingers.
  1. When it comes to your personal belongings like bags or cell phones, you are not allowed to take any inside the visa office. You will have to make a safe arrangement of your belongings before you enter the premises. 
  1. Once your biometric process is complete at the visa application center, you will be given a letter with a stamp on it stating that you attended and have given the fingerprint.
  1. USCIS may request you to bring additional documents during your visa interview. Make sure to bring them without fail.
taking your fingerprints

What are the steps you can take as an applicant if you have a criminal record?

If you have a criminal record, you need to consult an attorney before going through the process to avoid any delay or unnecessary waste of time and money. You can also go ahead with the fingerprinting process if you wish to; however, whether you will be eligible for any immigration benefit or not completely depends on the Federal Investigation Bureau (FBI’s) investigation report. The ensuing likely course of action is requesting a fingerprint report from FBI, etc. 

What are the steps that follow in the application process after you finish your “fingerprinting” or Biometric appointment? 

Once you have completed the fingerprinting process, the visa office representative will send you for a photograph session. This is again a crucial stage in the identification process. It also acts as a proof of your presence at the biometric center. The photograph will be digitally taken by one of the representatives present there. After this, you will be asked to send the documents that you were asked to bring by the USCIS. 

When you get a status update saying “Fingerprint review was completed”, this clearly means that the FBI has completed your background verification and has shared the details to USCIS. If you clear your background checks, then your status update will say that your application process is ready to move to the next level. 

What do you do next?

Now, depending on what visa you have applied to, your next steps will vary. If you have applied for a non-immigrant visa, then your next step will be to attend the visa interview. You need to take all the documents as instructed by the USCIS for the visa interview and then wait for your visa approval or stamping. 

If your application is for a green card, the post biometric process there are a few other additional steps to complete:

  • If you want a work permit while your green card application is pending, you would have requested one already by filing I-765 along with your green card application. 

    In case you require an advance parole card, you need to file I-131 which is the application for travel documents. You will receive your EAD and/ or advance parole within 3 to 4 months of filing. 
  • If USCIS requests for any evidence (RFE’s), respond to them with appropriate documentation without delay. 
  • Attend the green card interview: Once all the documents related to your case are reviewed and provisionally approved, you will receive a letter from the USCIS about your green card interview. Make sure to carry all the original documents for the interview along with their printed copies. Please be at the USCIS field office on time. 
  • If your case is approved, you will receive a ‘Notice of Approval’ from USCIS. However, this decision is crucial, therefore it may take several weeks to months for the approval notice to come.
  • Receive your green card: When you receive your green card, make sure to check that all the details mentioned on the card are correct. If you find any mistake on it or if you do not receive your green card within 60 days of receiving the approval notice, you need to get in touch with the USCIS service center on 1-800-375-5283. You may need to file the form i-90 which is for the replacement of a permanent resident card. 

Now that we have covered quite a bit about the ‘fingerprinting completion status’ and what are the various steps that the applicant needs to take during the biometric process. Let’s move on to see what are the various processing times for different immigration application forms. This may allow you to be pre-disposed of when you are going through the visa application process.

Biometric Appointment for fingerprint review

What are the usual processing times for various immigration forms ( i-485, i-751, i-765, i-864, n-400 and n-600, F1 Visa and F2 Visa )

  1. I-485: In the case of i-485, the entire process may take months or even years to complete before the approval of the green card comes. If we divide the process into various stages, here are  the different timeline for each process: 
  • Receipt of an application takes about 2 to 3 weeks time.
  • Biometrics appointment notice takes about 3 to 5 weeks to come through once the application has been filed.
  • If you have applied for a work permit along with your green card application, you will receive the work authorization (EAD) in 12 to16 weeks from the time of filing.
  • Notice of interview will arrive around 4 to 10 months after you file for the application.
  • Adjustment of the status interviews takes about 6 to 12 months. 
  • Once the interview is complete, it will take about 8 to 14 weeks more to receive your green card.
  1. I-751: Once the petition to ‘Remove Conditions on Residence’ is filed, it takes about 12 to 18 months of processing time.  
  2. I-765: Application processing for a work permit requires about 5 to 7 months. USCIS used to process EAD within 60-90 days earlier. Due to heavy workload and pending cases, the processing time has increased to 5 months or more. 
  3. I-864: Affidavit of support’ petition takes about 6 weeks to process. USCIS will send the affidavit of support and other supporting documents to the National Visa Center. Once they review and verify the documents, and receive the application fee, they process it. 
  4. N-400: This is an Application for Naturalization, and it takes about 8 to 12 months of processing time if all the paperwork is accurate and the document verification is done successfully without any glitch. There is no premium processing available for this application. However, one can request USCIS to expedite the review of the application.
  5. N-600: n-600 is the application for a Certificate of Citizenship. The processing of time of this application completely depends on the nature of the case. The approximate processing time can vary between 7 and 14 months. It may be lesser or more than this depending on whether USCIS needs additional information or evidence or an interview.
  6. F1 visa or the student visa: The processing time for an F1 visa takes about 5 to 6 weeks. This completely depends on the i-20 processing time. While some schools take a few weeks to process the i-20, many other schools or educational institutions take many months to process it. There is no premium processing available for this application form. 
  7. F2 visa: F2 dependent visa is the non-immigrant visa of F1 visa holders. The processing time for an F-2 visa is relatively quicker than that of an F-1 visa. It takes about a week or two for USCIS to arrive upon a decision of approval or denial after the interview. 
Visa Interview - process review

Biometrics or fingerprinting plays a vital role in the visa application process. It is used by the Department of Homeland Security to identify an individual, verify the identity, track the criminal record of a person. This ensures that travel to the United States is legitimate and safe through verification of the visa application process. Now if you have received the status ” Fingerprint review was completed” after you have applied for a visa, you will be anxious to know about the status changes of the application and what level has the process reached. Tracking a visa application is made easy by the USCIS visa tracker. You can simply enter your case number or the receipt number in the input box and click on ‘check status’. 

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs): 

What does it mean when I see ‘Fingerprint review was completed’ status? 

This notification or status update means that your biometric process is completed and the background checks are done. If the FBI sends an approval to the USCIS on your background verification, it will be mentioned that the case is ready to move to the next stage.

Which visa application needs fingerprinting?

Almost all the visa application process needs biometric or fingerprint verification. 

Will my visa application be rejected if I have a criminal record?

Well, it completely varies from case to case. You should consult an attorney who will be able to assist you with what you need to do. 

Can we directly go to the OFC for biometrics? 

It is best to take a biometric appointment before you go for the fingerprinting to avoid long waiting times etc. you can take the appointment through USCIS online appointment service called ‘InfoPass’. 

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