On Feb. 13, 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced it had updated Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status and will publish a new form, Form I-539A, Supplemental Information for Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. This is the form used when asking to extend or change your dependents’ status to H-4 or L-2 (among other dependent visa classifications) when they are within the U.S.
What Changes Were Announced?
USCIS has yet to publish the new I-539 form to their site but it is expected to be soon. USCIS will only accept the new form on and after March 11, 2019. This revised form has significant changes, including:
- Every applicant and co-applicant must pay an $85 biometric service fee, except for certain A, G and NATO nonimmigrants
- USCIS will only accept the new Form I-539 with an edition date of Feb. 4, 2019 (which is not yet published) and will reject any Form I-539 with an edition date of Dec. 23, 2016 (or earlier)
- Every co-applicant included on a primary applicant’s Form I-539 must sign and submit a separate Form I-539A. Parents or legal guardians may sign on behalf of the minors under 14 years old.
- Any dependent case after March 11 requires the new form I-539A
- All applicants and co-applicants will receive a biometric services appointment notice. These will be scheduled at the closest Applicant Support Center (ASC)
- USCIS will reject any Form I-539 missing biometric fees or required signatures
How Should You Proceed?
The biggest change is that your dependent(s) will need to attend a biometrics appointment (i.e. capturing your fingerprints) and information about when those take place will be sent to you via postal mail after the petition is filed. As soon as the new form and instructions are released, Envoy will work with Global Immigration Associates to notify you as soon as possible so we can start collecting new signature pages if you have any cases that are in process and also collecting the additional $85 biometric fee per dependent.
Envoy is pleased to provide you this information, which was prepared in collaboration with Ryan Bay, who is the Director of Legal Operations at Global Immigration Associates, P.C. (www.giafirm.com), Envoy’s affiliated law firm.