Are you an U.S. green card holder living temporarily abroad who has applied for a reentry permit? You have several options for dealing with the hassle of attending the USCIS biometrics appointment: expedite, walk-in, reschedule.
You have to be in the U.S. to file the reentry permit application, if you’re between age 14 and 79. The biometrics appointment will be scheduled at the USCIS Application Support Center (ASC) with jurisdiction over your U.S. residence. The normal wait from filing until the biometrics appointment is 4-6 weeks. If that’s not convenient, here are your other options:
- Request an expedited biometrics appointment.
- Walk in to an ASC, even in Guam, Saipan, or Honolulu
- Reschedule the appointment
- Request a biometrics appointment at an overseas USCIS office.
Note that it’s also possible to leave the U.S. after your reentry permit application is received and accepted by USCIS, then come back later for your appointment.
Request an Expedited Biometrics Appointment
USCIS may expedite a biometrics appointment as a matter of discretion. In this case, it can take 7 to 14 days from filing to the appointment.
To request expedited processing, you should include with your application a written explanation of the reason your travel abroad is urgent. This should be supported by any available evidence of the urgency.
USCIS will review your request to determine whether it meets or more of the following criteria:
- Severe financial loss to company or individual
- Extreme emergent situation
- Humanitarian situation
- Nonprofit status of requesting organization in furtherance of the cultural and social interests of the United States
- Department of Defense or National Interest Situation (Note: Request must come from official United States Government entity and state that delay will be detrimental to our Government)
- USCIS error
- Compelling interest of USCIS
To request an expedited biometrics appointment, notate the outside of the envelope and top of Form I-131 with the word EXPEDITE. Include a pre-paid, self-addressed express mailer, to send you the biometrics appointment notice. Also provide your email address and a fax number.
Additionally, it may be helpful to specify any dates you prefer the appointment or are unavailable for the appointment.
Walk In to the Local ASC or a Different One (Even Guam, Saipan, or Honolulu)
Even if you are unable to expedite your biometrics appointment, it may be possible to walk in to the ASC with jurisdiction over your place of residence at a different time. Or a different ASC. If you live in China or elsewhere in Asia, it may be more convenient to attend a biometrics appointment at the ASC in Honolulu (Hawaii), Guam, or Saipan than to travel to the continental U.S.
Allowing biometrics processing without an appointment is a matter within each ASC’s discretion, so ask your lawyer to check whether it’s currently possible. Bring your receipt notice or biometrics appointment notice. And any evidence of the urgency of your travel.
Reschedule Your Biometrics Appointment
If the appointment time is inconvenient, you can request that it be rescheduled. Follow the instructions on the appointment notice.
Request a Biometrics Appointment at a USCIS Overseas Office
This option is newly available as of December 2015. For more information, see our law firm’s Guide to Reentry Permits.