The USCIS has announced that it will temporarily suspend the biometrics requirements for H-4, L-2, E-1, E-2, and E-3 applicants. The suspension will last from May 17, 2021 until May 17, 2023, and will apply to H-4, L-2, E-1, E-2, and E-3 applicants with a pending Form I-539 who have not yet received a biometrics appointment notice as of May 17, 2021, and new applications for H-4, L-2, E-1, E-2, and E-3 received by USCIS from May 17, 2021 until May 17, 2023.
Applicants who receive a biometrics appointment notice before May 17, 2021 should plan to attend the appointment. Additionally, the USCIS retains the discretion to require biometrics on a case-by-case basis for any applicant. The USCIS is not expected to refund the $85 biometrics fee for applicants who are not required to attend the biometrics appointment.
The USCIS’s announcement comes as part of an ongoing lawsuit over long processing times for H-4 and L-2 employment authorization documents (EAD). It is hoped that the suspension of the biometrics requirements will help to address the backlog of pending Form I-539s and associated EAD applications.