In a December 29, 2020 Stakeholder Message, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provided an update on biometrics appointment delays at Application Support Centers (ASCs) due to COVID-19.
USCIS collects biometrics for certain kinds of applications, including but not limited to:
- Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status
- Form I-131, Application for Travel Document (including reentry permit)
- Form N-400, Application for Naturalization
- Form I-53, Application for Change of status, Extension of stay, or F-1 Student Reinstatement
USCIS closed its offices between March and June due to COVID, cancelling approximately 280,000 appointments. There continue to be some sporadic and temporary closures due to stay-at-home orders and COVID related cleaning. By late October, ASC operations were at approximately 65% of pre-COVID levels.
Approximately 1.3 million applications are awaiting biometrics
appointments as of mid-December. Applicants should continue to wait for an ASC appointment notice or a Form I-797, Notice of Action, from USCIS indicating that their previously collected biometrics may be reused. See Can USCIS Reuse Biometrics Submitted Previously?
USCIS will not process walk-ins for biometrics collection except for military applicants and their family members when the principal
applicant is scheduled for an appointment.