Revised Form I-539 Changes
July 17th, 2019
In March 2019, USCIS published new editions of Forms I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status and I-539A, Supplemental Information for Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status with edition dates of February 4, 2019. USCIS also begun rejecting Forms I-539 and I-539A with edition dates prior to 2/4/2019 in March. There are significant changes in these revised forms. The first major change is the requirement that every applicant regardless of age must pay a biometrics fee and attend a biometrics appointment. The second major change is that 'courtesy' premium processing is no longer available for I-539 applications filed concurrently with I-129 petitions.
Every applicant and co-applicant must pay an $85 biometric services fee and attend a biometrics appointment (with the exception of select A, G, and NATO nonimmigrants) regardless of their age with the revised I-539. Each applicant and co-applicant will receive an individual biometrics appointment notice and individual receipt number. Appointments will be scheduled at the Application Support Center (ASC) nearest to the primary applicant's address. If co-applicants would like their appointment to be at a different ASC, they must file a separate Form I-539.
Premium Processing for I-539
In addition to the new biometrics requirement, USCIS will no longer provide the premium processing service to I-539 applications filed with I-129 petitions. I-539 applications are now entirely separate from I-129 petitions. Since premium processing is not available for I-539 applications, they will follow the regular processing queue. USCIS made this change because it takes approximately three weeks to complete biometrics, which is longer than the 15-day premium processing time-frame. AILA warns that the I-539 processing times may be significantly longer than I-129 processing times.
For More Information:
View instructions for the revised Form I-539 here.
Check case processing times for various forms and field offices/service centers here.
This blog post does not serve as legal advice and does not establish any client-attorney privilege. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our legal team directly.
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This information comes from news releases from the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA Doc. No. 19071532 & 19021234).