USCIS Exempting Biometrics Fee for all I-539 Applicants, Effective 01.Oct.2023

Beginning October 1, 2023, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will exempt all I-539 applicants from paying the $85 biometrics service fee. This exemption will apply indefinitely.

Background Information

In 2019, the USCIS implemented a policy that required most form I-539 applicants to complete biometrics screening – that is, to collect an applicant’s fingerprints, photograph, and digital signature – and pay a corresponding $85 fee. This biometrics requirement resulted in significant delays in the processing of I-539 applications, not to mention added costs for the applicants. This, in turn, led to the filing of numerous lawsuits against the USCIS, and the USCIS eventually reaching a settlement agreement that included the temporary suspension of the biometrics requirement for H-4, L-2, E-1, E-2, and E-3 dependents. This temporary suspension of the biometrics requirements ends on September 30, 2023, and will be replaced by the blanket exemption of biometrics for all I-539 applicants, as of October 1st.

Exempting I-539 Applicants from Biometrics

Based on the policy change, no biometrics fee will be required for any I-539 application filed on or after October 1, 2023. On rare occasions, the USCIS may still call an I-539 applicant in for biometrics. Even then, however, the applicant will not have to pay a biometrics service fee.


The indefinite exemption of biometrics for I-539 applicants is a welcome change. More detail on this policy change is available on the USCIS website.


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Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.