U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced that it is exempting the biometric services fee for Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status.
Beginning Oct. 1, the USCIS said they are exempting the $85 biometric services fee as part of the application process for Form I-539. Applicants do not need to pay the fee if their application is postmarked Oct. 1 or later.
However, if they 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.
Also, if applicants mistakenly submit the biometric services fee and the payment is submitted separately from the Form I-539 fee, USCIS will return the biometric services fee and accept the Form I-539.
If an applicant mistakenly submits the biometric services fee and the payment is combined with a paper-based Form I-539 filing fee, this is considered an incorrect filing and it will reject the Form I-539. If you mistakenly authorize a credit card payment that combines the biometric services fee with the Form I-539 application fee, USCIS states that they will accept the application, and only charge the application fee.
The biometric services fee exemption will apply to all applicants filing on or after Oct.1, including those applicants filing Form I-539 requesting an extension of stay in or change of status to H-4, L-2, or E nonimmigrant for whom USCIS had previously suspended the biometrics requirement through Sept. 30, 2023.
As mentioned in the USCIS Fiscal Year 2022 Progress Report (PDF, 1.08 MB) (PDF, 1.08 MB), the administration say they are committed to accomplishing the goal of removing the biometric services fee and requirement for all Form I-539 applicants.
Source: USCIS Newsroom