- 1 What Is the Biometric Appointment When You Are Applying for Your Green Card? What Are the Uses of the Uscis Biometrics Appointment?
- 1.1 So What Exactly Is Biometrics Appointment?
- 1.2 What Is the Purpose of the Biometrics Appointment?
- 1.3 Where Does the Biometrics Appointment Take Place?
- 1.4 Is It Possible to Reschedule a Biometric Appointment and Change the Location?
- 1.5 What Happens After Biometrics Appointment? How Long Does It Take to Get a Green Card After Biometrics?
- 1.6 What Is the USCIS Application Support Center? How Can You Prepare for Your USCIS Biometric Appointment?
- 1.7 How You Can Prepare Yourself for the Biometrics Appointment?
- 1.8 Conclusion
- 2 Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs):
What Is the Biometric Appointment When You Are Applying for Your Green Card? What Are the Uses of the Uscis Biometrics Appointment?
If you are applying for the very first time, then do not get alarmed by the term “biometrics”. Filing for an I-485 petition and obtaining a green card entails many phases among which biometrics appointment is one. Whether you apply for a green card, Naturalization, or any other immigration benefits, biometrics is one of the vital parts of the application process. We know you are here for what happens after biometrics appointment but before that let us see what happens in the biometric appointment.
Also known as fingerprinting appointment, or biometric screening, the Biometric appointment is completed after the USCIS sends you an appointment notice (I-797C, Notice of Action) shortly after they send you I-797 Notice of Action approving your immigration application.
But before we get to the Core of this topic, “What happens after Biometrics Appointment?”, there is a lot more context you might need.
So What Exactly Is Biometrics Appointment?
Biometric Screening is a security check process that everyone who has applied for immigration benefits should go for. During your Biometrics appointment, the USCIS officials will take your fingerprints, photograph, and signature. They also verify the documents that you carry. It isn’t a very long process and typically lasts for about 15 to 20 minutes; the only time-consuming part may be waiting in the queue which also isn’t usually that long. You may need to carry a government-issued ID card to show at the entrance of the building where the appointment is taking place.
**There are Biometric accommodations and waivers available for a few cases like individuals with birth defects, skin-related issues, any kind of physical impairment, etc. However, only a few USCIS officers are permitted to offer a waiver to the individuals who request one after examining and verifying their request, situation, etc. it is important to note that not all waivers are accepted.
Usually, the Biometrics appointment takes place in the nearest USCIS service centers from your place. In most cases the time, date, and location are provided by the Agency in the Biometrics Appointment Notice that they send you; in very few cases, you may also have to schedule an appointment for yourself.
There will be no interviews taken during your biometric appointment. It is an extremely straightforward process where you only need to go and give the fingerprint and photograph as asked for. It is also recommended that you do not ask the officers present there regarding your case. First of all, they will not know about your case at all as they are specifically assigned for the biometric sessions; secondly, some of them may not be USCIS officers as well. They are sometimes appointed from outside to deal with the biometric process.
What Is the Purpose of the Biometrics Appointment?
The whole purpose of the Biometrics is for the USCIS to cross-verify your identity, your biographical information, and your criminal record with the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) database before your petition for immigration status is granted. USCIS ensures the safety of the country and its people by checking the background of every individual entering the country and making sure that they are not a threat to society.
If you do not have a history of conviction, then you can get approval easily if everything else is in place. In case you have a criminal background, getting approval for immigration benefits can be complex and your petition may be rejected. Therefore, you may want to consult an immigration legal professional to see what your next steps should be. If you already know that you have a past that may affect your application, then you should consult a lawyer even before filing the petition so they can guide you the right way whether or not it is worth giving a shot.
Remember, a lot of what happens after biometrics appointment depends on the security checks that are carried out on your background after the fingerprint screening.
Where Does the Biometrics Appointment Take Place?
If you are within the United States, you will have to go to one of the USCIS service centers that are assigned to you by the Agency. In case you have to go for the biometrics while you are abroad, then you need to attend your appointment at the USCIS consulate that is processing your application for permanent residence. What happens after biometrics appointment though? We know, we know, just a little further ahead.
Is It Possible to Reschedule a Biometric Appointment and Change the Location?
It is always best to go for the appointment as initially scheduled by the USCIS. Usually, USCIS allots a location that is closest to where the applicant lives. If for some reason you are not comfortable with the location, you can try requesting the USCIS to reschedule at a different center. You need to call the number that you should be able to find on your appointment notice and see if it is possible to reschedule. Here is a link that will help you see the USCIS service centers that you can pick from.
Similarly, it is best to make yourself available for the biometric screening on the date and the time that USCIS has scheduled for you. But in case, for some reason you are not able to get it, then you want to check with the USCIS if they can reschedule. USCIS will only consider if you have a genuine reason and depending on the seriousness of your situation. You injured your fingers and cannot give the fingerprints during the scheduled appointment, or you are hospitalized, family emergencies, etc.- These are some of the reasons when your rescheduling request might be considered.
Usually, 1-800-375-5283 / (TTY 1-800-767-1833) is the number where you should call for any kind of inquiries or rescheduling requests.
**Remember that rescheduling the biometrics appointment will delay the green card processing time further.
So what next after biometrics USCIS- we are going to give you a detailed scenario on what happens after a biometrics appointment, how long does it take to get a green card after biometrics, when do you receive your EAD after biometrics, and more. Let’s move on…
What Happens After Biometrics Appointment? How Long Does It Take to Get a Green Card After Biometrics?
Completing your biometrics appointment is one of your very first steps forward to your green card processing. There are a few more milestones to hit before you get a decision from the USCIS on your application petition for permanent residence.
If you have completed this stage successfully, you must be curious to know after biometrics what next! So right after you finish all the formalities that were due in your biometrics appointment, the USCIS representative will put a stamp on your appointment notice as a sign of proof that you were present on the day of the appointment. You need to keep the document safe as it serves as proof that you had attended the fingerprint screening in case USCIS loses your data.
How long will it take for the Agency to respond and what next after biometrics USCIS and depends on what type of application you have filed. In the case of a green card petition, depending on what type of green card it is – marriage-based or employment-based, there are different levels before you receive your card. Remember that the time taken varies from case to case depending on individual background.
What to Do if You Receive a Second Notice?
Before that, however, if you receive a second notice for a biometrics appointment don’t get nervous. It is not necessarily because USCIS has found something in your background. In most cases, it can be because of several reasons.
The very first reason is that your biometrics data has a validity of 15 months. So sometimes if there is a delay in processing until USCIS gets to work on your data, they may need you to undergo the screening process one more time. Another common reason is if your fingerprint was smudged or unclear because of which they aren’t able to carry out their security checks. Yes, this may, however, delay the overall process a little, but the protocol needs to be followed. You also do not have to pay the biometric fee if you are called for the second appointment.
After this, the applicants proceed to the next levels. “What happens after biometrics appointment” is usually divided into five different stages as mentioned earlier:
(The tentative timeline is also included in each stage so it also answers the questions about “approximately how long does it take to get a green card after biometrics?”)
Receive Your Employee Authorization Document (Ead) and Advance Parole (if You Applied for These)-
This stage will apply to you only if you have applied for an EAD and/or an Advance Parole. Some green card holders do not apply for this, so, if you haven’t you can ignore this step and move on to the next one.
Green card approval takes a long time and some applicants want to work while their petition is still in the processing stage. For you to be able to legally work in the United States during this stage, you will need an EAD card. For this, you have to file Form I-765 at the time of applying for your permanent residence (this is called concurrent filing).
Advanced Parole is for those immigrants who need to travel out of the country while their green card is under processing. To do that, one will have to file Form I-131, Application for Travel Document. People can file this together with the EAD application form, but if they are not opting for EAD, they can file this separately as well.
Nonetheless, it takes around 3 to 4 months for the EAD/ Advance Parole to arrive after filing which means that it will take about 2 to 3 weeks after you complete your biometric appointment.
Request for Evidence:
This stage also doesn’t necessarily apply to every applicant. USCIS sends a Request for Evidence notice only if insufficient documents are supporting your information, or if they need additional evidence from you to make your case stronger. Once you get this notice, you should act immediately as any kind of delay in response will not only delay the entire process but may also lead to denial of your petition. The sooner you can provide the documents the faster the process will move forward.
An important thing to note here is that the more documents you can provide as evidence for your eligibility to become a permanent resident, the stronger your case will be. Note that USCIS has not kept any limitations to providing supporting documents to them.
Green Card Interview Notice and the Interview
Once all the checks are done and your case review is completed by the adjudicator, you will be called for the interview. So, if you ask after a biometrics appointment what next, then this is one of those stages where you are almost close to the end where your role is complete after the interview. However, the wait is quite long. From the time of your biometrics completion to receiving an interview notice, it takes around 6 to 10 months depending on the case. Nevertheless, if you are called for an interview, this means that your case has been close to approval. But, don’t get overconfident here because a lot depends on how and what you answer.
The interview takes place in the USCIS field office if you are in the country and the US Embassy if you are abroad. You need to prepare well for the interview, go through your application well, make sure to have a copy of your application for your preparation. Also, remember to carry all the originals of the supporting documents that you have provided to USCIS.
Now, whether you will receive an interview notice also depends on what type of green card you applied for. If it is an employment-based green card, then most likely you do not need an interview unless there are some questions or issues related to your documents that need to be resolved. On the other hand, if it is a marriage-based green card petition, then you will have to go for an interview.
Notice About the Decision:
If your interview goes well, the interviewer or the USCIS officer can tell you at the end of the interview, then and there that your case has been approved. If that happens, then he or she will put an I-551 stamp on your passport which acts as proof that you have been granted permanent residence status. While this is an exciting moment, you need to keep your EAD and Advance Parole with you until you receive your green card just to be on the safer side.
In case the interviewing officer feels that your case needs to be consulted with his supervisor for approval, then don’t worry. They may either request further evidence or may simply be reviewed and complete the processing. Once your case is approved, you will get an approval letter from the USCIS. In this case, you may expect the decision of the USCIS between 30 days from the day the interview took place.
Receive Your Green Card:
USCIS will mail the green card to you within 30 days after they approve your petition. When you receive the card make sure to check all the details on it are correct. If you find mistakes in your biographic information mentioned on your card or you do not receive the card within 60 days after you receive the approval notice from the USCIS, you will have to contact the Agency. You can reach them at 1-800-375-5283, or reach them online through their USCIS contact center.
What Is the USCIS Application Support Center? How Can You Prepare for Your USCIS Biometric Appointment?
Now that you know what happens after a biometrics appointment, this section will give you an overview of how you can prepare yourself for the biometrics appointment properly. Before that, for those who are applying for the first time, here’s a bit of information about what USCIS application support centers are.
USCIS sees thousands of immigration applications every year and considering that some of the processes are too cumbersome, it takes a long time to complete the stages before coming to a decision. Therefore, to channelize the work, it has established various offices to handle different functions that entail an immigration process. The main aim of constructing different wings is to make the processes faster and organized and make it easier for the applicants to reach out to them when needed.
“USCIS application support centers” are one of those offices that have their specific roles in the immigration process. They receive large volumes and varieties of immigration-related applications or petitions that they process. The service centers handle mails, applicant requests, data entry, filing of the applications, and making decisions on the approval and denial of the petitions after going through extensive background checks of the petitioners. Another major role of the USCIS application support centers is to conduct biometric screening as a part of the immigration process. They schedule appointments for the applicants for the biometric screening and interview for the immigration benefit.
How You Can Prepare Yourself for the Biometrics Appointment?
Coming back to how you can prepare yourself for the biometrics appointment, here’s a list of what you should and shouldn’t do so your process can go smoothly without hassle:
USCIS sends the biometrics appointment letter by mail and details the name of the person who needs to attend the interview. It is recommended that only those people go for the appointment whose names are mentioned in the appointment letter. In case you need another person to accompany you for a valid reason, like you have health conditions, etc., you can seek permission so another person can accompany you as a support.
What Is the List of Documents You Require for the Biometrics Appointments?
The appointment notice will also include what documents you need to carry for the interview. Make sure that you keep the documents and their copies ready a day prior so you do not miss out on anything on the day of the appointment. Other than the documents listed in the notice, you also need to carry a photo identity card to show at the entrance of the building. So basically here’s a checklist of documents that you need to bring with you if you want to find out what happens after biometrics appointment-
- The biometric appointment Notice (I-797C, Notice of action)
- Photo ID cards issued by the government. It can be your passport, driver’s license, any state-issued photo ID, military ID card, etc.
- Any documents that USCIS has listed you to bring. For example, they may ask you to bring your EAD, advance parole, or travel document if you have or any others.
- You should also bring any other Notice of Receipt that you have received from the USCIS.
There are a few things that are prohibited from carrying inside the USCIS building so make sure that you do not carry these when you go for the biometric appointment:
- Electronic devices of any kind like cameras, mobile phones, laptops, tablets, etc. if you carry any of these then you will be asked to leave them outside before entering the gate. Therefore, it is best to leave them in the car or with the person who is accompanying you there.
- Food items of any kind.
- Weapons like pocket knives, scissors, or anything else that can be used as a weapon.
- Beverages that do not have a lid.
What Do the Code Numbers Mean?
If you want to know more about the biometrics and the type of fingerprint screening that you will be undergoing, you can find that out from the code numbers that ASC or the application Center uses and which is mentioned on the top right corner of the notice that you received. There are three different codes (code 1,2 and 3) and based on the codes you will know what kind of process you are going to go through at the venue. The code varies depending on the type of immigration application you have.
- Code-1 indicates you need to provide the fingerprinting for all 10 fingers. No phone and signature is needed if you fall under code 1 category.
- Code-2 indicates index finger press print, along with photo and signature. The information is usually used by the USCIS on the card they will be issuing to the applicant later on like the EAD, Green Card, etc.
- Code-3 will need you to give the index-finger press print, ten-printing (print for all the fingers), photograph, and signature.
Other Information You Might Need
Well there you have it, we hope this answers the question “What happens after biometrics appointment?” for you.
You should arrive at the allotted Application Service Center (ASC) 15 to 20 minutes before your scheduled time to avoid last-minute panic.
You would have already completed the fee payment for the Biometrics along with the application fee. Therefore, you don’t have to bring any payment when you come for the appointment.
This appointment is only for administrative purposes and is not an interview. Also, it is better that you do not ask them about anything related to your case because they may not have any information about it. The biometrics team is only hired on a contract basis by the USCIS to carry out the fingerprint screening.
What happens after biometrics appointment at the USCIS- is what we have extensively covered in this article. It is a lengthy process until you have your green card in hand but there are various security reasons why USCIS scrutinizes every application so minutely. It is always recommended that you respond to their notices like Request for Evidence, etc. on time to help move the process smoothly. For additional information, don’t forget to take a look at our FAQs section below.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs):
It takes about six to eight months more after the biometrics appointment for the green card to arrive. You will receive your green card only if your petition is approved.
It is best to go for the appointment on the scheduled date and time as given by the USCIS. However, if you already have a pre-scheduled plan on the same day as that of the biometrics, then you can call USCIS and request a reschedule.
Biometrics is one of the first steps towards your green card processing and there are several more stages before you get a decision on your permanent resident application petition. While you respond to the USCIS’s notices on the interview and the appointment promptly, you can also keep a track of the status of your application online. Go to the Case Status Online page on the USCIS official website and enter your receipt number to check where your application has reached.
For ten prints, you will have to give the print of all the 10 fingers of your hands. So, in case one or two of your fingers are injured during the scheduled appointment, then you will have to wait until they get healed. USCIS will reschedule or at times you may have to reschedule your fingerprint screening after the injury heals completely.