What is a Biometrics Appointment for a Green Card?
Many U.S. immigration benefits require a biometrics appointment, including the application for a green card. Biometrics refers to unique physical data about your person that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) records. As part of the green card process, you will be scheduled for a biometrics appointment where USCIS will take your photo, collect your fingerprints, and have you sign your name. This information helps verify your identity and it will be cross-checked with criminal databases from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security.
This appointment is very important and if you miss it, your green card application could be denied. If you cannot make the date that has been scheduled for you, the appointment can be rescheduled. If your biometrics have not been completed within a reasonable time frame as scheduled by USCIS, your application for the green card may be in jeopardy. The appointment itself is very straightforward.
Your Biometrics Appointment
You will receive a notice from USCIS about your biometrics appointment with instructions about what to bring with you. Usually this is a copy of the notice and a photo ID. It will also detail what you may not bring into the building, such as your phone, a camera, food, or drink.
Typically, when you arrive at your designated Application Support Center (ASC) you will receive a number to show your place in the line, or you may have to fill out a form indicating you have arrived for your appointment. If you arrive early and the ASC is not overcrowded, they may take you earlier than your appointed time. Often, the same appointment time has been given to a group of people and you will be called in the order you arrive at the ASC.
When it is your turn, collecting your fingerprints, photo, and signature should take about 20 minutes. You will receive a stamp on your appointment notice to verify that you attended the appointment. It is very important to keep this stamped paper for your records as proof that you kept the appointment and had your biometrics taken.
Biometric Appointments for Children
If your child has been assigned a biometrics appointment, you must be sure to attend. Children under 14 generally do not have to pay a fee for the biometrics appointment, however, it is necessary for children who are adjusting status to complete a biometrics appointment for the generation of a green card.
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