If an individual previously submitted biometrics in connection with a prior application, can USCIS reuse those biometrics in connection with a new application?
USCIS requires biometrics appointments in connection with various types of applications, such as for adjustment of status (Form I-485), reentry permits (Form I-131), employment authorization (Form I-765), and naturalization (Form N-400).
Once a USCIS application support center collects an applicant’s biometrics, the FBI conducts a “name check” on the applicant.
USCIS sometimes reuses previously submitted biometrics rather than requiring a new biometrics appointment. However, the policy is not completely transparent. Here is what we know.
If fingerprints were taken for a naturalization application, the FBI response is valid for the duration of the application for which they were conducted. FBI responses “used to support other applications are valid for 15 months from the FBI process date. A new name check is required in cases where the final adjudication and naturalization have not occurred within that timeframe.” 12 USCIS-PM B.2(B)(1), (C).
If fingerprints from a prior application are reused for a new application, the online case status should reflect that with a message that “fingerprints … have been applied to your case.” You should also receive a Form I-797A Notice of Action by mail stating that “USCIS is able to reuse your previously captured fingerprints and other biometrics.” See USCIS Response to COVID-19 (USCIS will “send notifications of biometrics reuse to eligible individuals.”).
- USCIS announced on Mar. 30, 2020, that it will reuse previously submitted biometrics in order to process valid Forms I-765, Applications for Employment Authorization, extension requests due to the temporary closure of ASCs in response to COVID.
- The Kendell Frederick Citizenship Assistance Act of 2008, Pub.L. 110-251, directed USCIS to reuse fingerprints submitted by military citizenship applicants at the time of their enlistment of from prior submissions to USCIS.