What is a Biometrics Notice?

Green Card and Naturalization applicants needs to take the USCIS Biometrics for the purpose of Federal Bureau of Investigation criminal background checks. Certain application like I-90, N-400, I-485, etc., requires USCIS Biometrics to be taken. In this case you need to submit the application with USCIS Biometrics fee.

After USCIS receives the application, they will send USCIS appointment notice with place, date and time for you to take the USCIS Biometrics. Once you receive the USCIS appointment notice make sure you read the instructions carefully. In certain areas, a van will come to take you to the finger printing locations, if the fingerprinting location is far from your area. Note that the USCIS appointment notice will tell you whether a van serves your area.

If additional documents are required, then USCIS appointment letter will specify the documents that you need to take with you for the USCIS Biometrics.

Take the USCIS appointment letter with you, when you go to take the USCIS Biometrics. Make sure you also take the additional documents that is specified the USCIS appointment letter. You must also take with you a photo identification document such as passport or national photo identification issued by your country, or driver’s license, or military photo identification, or state-issued photo identification card.

After you reach the USCIS Biometrics center with your USCIS appointment notice, you will be asked to fill a form. You must also indicate for what application the USCIS Biometrics is taken for eg., Form I-90, Form I-485, N-400 etc.,

Most of the fingerprinting center uses ink to take the fingerprint. However they might also take the fingerprint electronically eventually.

Once the finger print is taken, USCIS will send it to the FBI to check the criminal backgrounds. The FBI is very efficient and checks your case and sends it back to the USCIS in 3 to 4 weeks. In case if the fingerprint is not clear they will reject and send it back to the USCIS. Then USCIS will again schedule another appointment and send an USCIS appointment notice to you. You need to take the finger prints again. If FBI rejects because of quality of the fingerprints, then you don’t have to pay the fee for biometrics.

You can also check with the FBI whether it has checked for criminal backgrounds and sent it back to the USCIS. Note that USCIS will not reveal the results, whether the fingerprints was rejected or not. If the Federal Bureau of Investigation rejects your finger print twice then you have to get the police clearance from each place where you had lived in the past five years.

Generally USCIS Biometrics are considered good for fifteen months. If in case the application is not processed for fifteen months after you had taken the fingerprints, then USCIS may send another USCIS appointment asking you to take the fingerprints again.

Applicants for political aylee don’t have to pay the biometrics fee. Applicants who concurrently file I-485 based on an employment petition and Form I-765 will receive one USCIS appointment for biometrics. USCIS will take biometrics for both forms in one visit and the applicants need to pay only one biometric fee with the I-485.

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