By: Ujwala Bagal
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has updated the USCIS Policy Manual to reflect its new policy concerning mobile biometrics collection in remote locations. Effective immediately, the new policy details the requirements both USCIS and the applicant must meet for mobile biometrics services.
USCIS aims to make biometrics collection in remote locations more accessible and efficient through their updated policy. Certain benefit requestors who cannot attend an appointment at a USCIS Application Support Center (ASC) may be eligible for a mobile biometrics appointment.
The updated guidelines clarify in detail circumstances that qualify applicants for mobile biometrics appointments, and identifies how USCIS will coordinate with other agencies, such as law enforcement, to ensure all remote appointments meet USCIS standard.
Additionally, the policy includes guidelines for USCIS to use fingerprint cards in coordination with other agencies to provide fingerprints when USCIS is unable to retrieve them firsthand. This method of fingerprinting only applies to individuals who live in extremely remote areas and sending a mobile biometrics unit to collect fingerprints would prove infeasible.
In order to be eligible to receive a mobile biometrics appointment an applicant must be otherwise incapable of attending their ASC appointment. For example, if an applicant has a health condition that prevents them from leaving their residence, or if visiting the ASC requires considerable travel times or multiple modes of transport, they may be eligible for a mobile biometrics appointment.
If you believe you may qualify for mobile biometrics or if you have any case specific questions, please contact the Chugh, LLP immigration team.