Immigration Biometrics Appointment Explained
The term “biometrics” refers to the processes used to identify people based on physical traits.
The foreign national spouse who is applying for the marriage based green card is required to participate in the biometrics appointment for the purpose of criminal background checks.
At the USCIS biometrics appointment, the foreign national spouse’s fingerprints and facial scan will be taken to be analyzed and put on file.
The biometrics appointment notice will have the date and time of the appointment as well as the address of the USCIS office to attend.
It is normally the office closest to your home. Occasionally larger cities have many offices that process biometrics and you may have to visit an office that is further away, but that can make an appointment for you sooner. It is mandatory that you have your appointment notice or copy with you when you go to your appointment.
If additional personal documents are required, then the USCIS biometrics appointment letter will specify the documents that you need to take with you. Keep in mind that personal documents in a language other than English must have certified translations. You will also need a photo identification document such as a passport or driver’s license.
After you reach the USCIS biometrics center with your USCIS appointment notice, be sure to leave your cell phone or any digital camera in the car or with a friend. Cameras and phones are not allowed in the USCIS offices.
Most USCIS offices use ink to take fingerprints — however, more offices are switching to electronic fingerprinting.
Fingerprints will then be analyzed by the FBI within a month’s time.
If you get an additional biometrics appointment notice within the next few weeks, it usually means that your prints were smudged. Fingerprints will need to be retaken for a proper background check. USCIS will not charge an additional fee for any additional fingerprinting work.
If the FBI flags or rejects your biometrics, you will be required to present police clearance reports from every state or country you’ve lived in proving that you do not have an extensive criminal record.
USCIS biometrics are valid for 15 months. If your application is not processed within 15 months, USCIS will most likely send another notice for a biometrics appointment.