How to Prepare for a Biometric Appointment

How to Prepare for a Biometric Appointment

Many immigrants are required to attend a biometric screening appointment at a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Application Support Center. But how do you prepare for your biometric appointment, what do you bring, and what happens next? This guide explains.

What is a Biometric Screening Appointment in U.S. Immigration?

A biometric screening appointment is an appointment where you will have your fingerprints and photo taken for immigration purposes.

Biometric Appointment - Davis & Associates

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may also collect your signature. USCIS uses this information to conduct background checks as part of the immigration process.

When Do You Attend a Biometric Screening Appointment?

You will be required to attend a biometric screening appointment when you file certain applications or petitions with USCIS. For example, if you are applying for a green card, you will need to attend a biometric screening appointment. Other times you may need to attend a biometric screening appointment include when you:

USCIS will send you a notice that tells you exactly when and where to show up. These appointments take place at Application Support Centers, or ASCs, which are located all over the United States.

If you can't make it to your biometric appointment, you should reschedule before you miss it. You need to provide a good reason for rescheduling; if you don't, USCIS may deny your petition.

What Do You Bring to an ASC Biometric Appointment?

How to Prepare for a Biometric AppointmentWhen you attend your biometric screening appointment, you will need to bring:

  • A notice that USCIS sent you telling you when and where to show up
  • An acceptable form of photo ID. This could be a passport, driver's license, or state ID card
  • Any other documents USCIS told you to bring in the notice

You should arrive at your appointment 15 minutes early. If you’re late, USCIS may reschedule your appointment or deny your petition. Your attorney doesn't need to come to your appointment with you, even if they submitted your petition for you.

What If You Need Language Help at a Biometric Screening Appointment?

If you don't understand English well, it's okay. USCIS provides written instructions in Arabic, Chinese, Creole, French, Korean, Polish and Portuguese. You may also bring someone who can translate for you; that person may be a friend, family member, attorney or accredited representative.

If you have a disability, you may make a disability accommodation request online or by calling the USCIS contact center. (If you're an asylum or NACARA 203 applicant, you're required to call to make your request.)

What Happens to the Information USCIS Collects at a Biometric Services Appointment?

USCIS collects your biometrics information (fingerprints, photo and signature) to run background checks. USCIS may use this information to:

  • Verify your identity
  • Determine if you pose a law enforcement or national security risk
  • Check for any prior immigration violations
  • See if you have a criminal history
  • Look for signs of fraud

USCIS may also share your biometrics information with other government agencies, like the FBI or Department of Homeland Security.

How Long is Your Biometrics Information Valid?

Your biometrics information is only valid for 15 months. If it takes longer for USCIS to process your application, you need to attend another biometrics appointment.

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Preparing for a Biometrics Appointment?

If you need to speak to an attorney about preparing for your biometrics appointment, we're here to help. Call our office now to schedule a consultation with an experienced immigration attorney who can give you the guidance you need.