USCIS Announces New I-539 -USA Immigration Law

USCIS Announces New I-539 – Effective March 2019

Modificationsin Form I-539 have been announced. USCIS recently announced few important changes to the Form I-539. As per the sources, USCIS publishedthe revised and all new Form I-539 on March 11, 2019. The changes require the usingthe new version of Form I-539, Application for Extending or Changing the Nonimmigrant Status. H-4 and L-2 visa holders mostly use the Form I-539 to change or extend the dependents’ status.

As per USCIS, the groups using Form I-539 include:

  • A Nonimmigrant wanting to extend the stay or change the nonimmigrant status.
  • CNMI resident’s  application for the initial grant of visa status.
  • F and M non-immigrants applying for reinstatement.
  • An Applicant seeking a V nonimmigrant status or an extension of stay

Also, USCIS announced that the applicants need to use a new Form I-539A titled as Supplemental Information for Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status.  USCIS haven’t granted an extension of time for a continued use of previous versions of Form I-539.

The New I-539 – Effective March 2019 having the following implications:

  • Each and every co-applicant need to sign a separate I-539A Form that is the revised version of the Form I-539.  However, legal guardians or Parents may sign it on behalf of children who are under 14 years of age or if the co-applicant is mentally incompetent.
  • The applicant and co-applicant must pay the $85 biometric service fee. But, some of the A, G, and NATO nonimmigrants do not need to pay the biometric service fee, as detailed in the latest version of Form I-539.
  • All the applicants, including any co-applicants, need to attend the biometric service for fingerprinting.
  • Applicants of Form I-539 willget an appointment notification.
  • Appointment for the application of Form I-539 is scheduled at the Application Support Centers (ASC). The ASC center will be the location closest to the primary applicant’s mentioned address.

The changes to Form I-539 considerably impacting the processing procedure

Though the Form I-539 is not apt for premium processing of an individual application, the previous practice of USCIS was normally to approve the H-4 or L-2 status at the time of premium processing of H-1B or L-1 as a set rules.  To date, USCIS has not thoroughly explained about the biometrics procedure and its affect after the processing of H-4 and L-2 visa. However this new updated biometric regulation can hinder the procedure resulting in a delay between the approval of H-1B or L-1status for an employeeand that of a dependents’ H-4 or L-2 status. It is primarily important when the processing of premium is preferred.

As of March 11, 2019, USCIS rejected the former Form I-539, along with any submission missing an applicant’s biometrics or signature fees including the required Form I-539A.

If you have any concerns about the H-1 B Visa or any other immigration issue, feel free to contact an expert immigration lawyer at ilexlaw!

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