Skip Main Navigation

Biden Administration Will Suspend Biometrics Requirement For Spouses of Immigrant Workers

May 5, 2021

USCIS will no longer require biometrics of spouses of immigrant workers

The Biden administration will suspend a Trump-era requirement that spouses of immigrant workers have their fingerprints taken, which was causing severe delays in processing work permit applications.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said in a recent court filing it would no longer require biometrics information from spouses of H-1B and L-1 visa holders starting May 17.

These spouses are eligible for H-4 and L-2 derivative work visas under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). By law, USCIS is required to process these visa applications within 30 days.

Want to sign up for our weekly newsletter covering all things immigration?

Enter your email below.

The move comes after a class action lawsuit was filed claiming the requirement led to significant delays, causing H-4 and L-2 visa holders to lose their jobs as a result, and calling for USCIS to immediately process their applications.

Large tech companies, including Google, signed an amicus brief backing the lawsuit, stating the delays in processing negatively impacted U.S. businesses.

What does this mean for me?

The biometrics suspension applies to H-4 and L-2 visa applications, as well as E-1, E-2, and E-3 employment-based categories filing Form I-539 (“Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status”) applications.

You will not need to submit biometrics information if your application is pending on May 17, 2021 and you haven’t yet received a biometrics appointment notice, or if your application is received by USCIS between May 17, 2021 and May 23, 2022.

Have legal immigration questions? Get them answered by independent attorneys in our network for just $79.