USCIS announced Monday, February 11, 2019 that it has revised Form I-539 and will be both releasing it and requiring it’s use starting March 11, 2019. This means that USCIS will reject any form I-539 filed March 11, 2019 or later that is not the latest version. Form I-539 is used by individuals seeking a wide variety of nonimmigrant benefits including A’s, B’s, CW’s, E’s, F’s, J’s, G’s, H-4’s, I’s, M’s, O-3’s, P-4’s, R’s, L-2 TD’s, T’s, U’s, and V’s.
USCIS is also making the following changes to the I-539 process:
- Every co-applicant must sign and submit a separate Form I-539A, and parents or guardian may sign on behalf of children under the age of 14.
- Every applicant and co-applicant must pay an $85 biometric fee and undergo biometric appointments, regardless of age.
This change has a variety of obvious issues:
- USCIS, in its discretion, routinely premium processes Form I-539 applications with the primary Petition (Form I-129); now that biometrics will be required of dependents, it is functionally impossible for USCIS to keep these filings together.
- The form both will be released and be required March 11, 2019. This means that applicants must either have their applications arrive at USCIS by Friday, March 8th, or, use the new form which will be released Monday, March 11, 2019.
If you have any questions about how this new change will impact your immigration case, please contact SPS Immigration.