New Version of Form I-539 Required Starting March 22, 2019
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March 6, 2019
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services USCIS has announced that it will require applicants filing Form I-539 to use a new version of that form starting March 22, 2019. The new form will require applicants to pay an additional $85 biometrics fee and attend a biometrics appointment at a USCIS Applicant Support Center (ACS). There will also be a new Form I-539A for applications involving multiple individuals such as family members. The revised forms and process will become available on March 8, 2019, and will be the only version accepted by USCIS starting March 22, 2019.
Background on Form I-539
Form I539 is the application to extend or change nonimmigrant status. Most commonly, this form is filed by dependent family members of H-1B employees to extend their status along with the primary H-1B petition. The form can also be used by individuals who are in valid immigration status to change their status to another category.
Changes to Current Process and Forms
The current I-539 form has a supplement, which will now be replaced by a separate Form I-539A, and each individual included in the application will have to complete and sign a separate Form I-539A. In addition to the $370 USCIS filing fee, every applicant and co-applicant will now have to pay an $85 biometric fee and will receive a biometric appointment notice which will be scheduled at the ASC closest to the primary applicant's address. The closest ASC to the University of Pennsylvania is currently located at 10300 Drummond Road, Suite 100, Philadelphia, PA 19154.
It is important to file the correct version of the new Form I-539 from March 22, 2019, onward as USCIS will reject any filing received after that date with the previous form version. It is also important to include the $85 biometrics fee for all applicants included in the form as failing to include all required fees will result in a rejection of the application and delays in processing the extension or change of status request. Finally, it is crucial that applicants monitor their mail for their biometrics services appointment notice and attend that appointment to prevent any delays in filing. If you have any questions about form I-539 or the new requirements, you should speak with an ISSS adviser.