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USCIS Debuts Online Biometric Appointment Rescheduling

-Editorial

On June 28, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services launched a new self-service tool that allows applicants for benefits and their attorneys and accredited representatives to reschedule most biometric services appointments in advance of the appointment date. The introduction of this tool is another way USCIS is improving customer service. 

By removing barriers and reducing burdens for applicants, USCIS demonstrates the agency’s commitment to continue efforts to achieve the goals of the Executive Order on Transforming the Federal Customer Experience and Service Delivery to Rebuild Trust in Government Mandates (EO 14058).

“We are constantly working to improve the customer experience by designing and delivering services in ways that are accessible to people of all abilities,” said USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou.

Currently, applicants for benefits and accredited representatives can only request to reschedule a biometric services appointment by calling the USCIS Contact Center. With this new tool, those who have or create a USCIS online account will be able to reschedule most biometric services appointment requests without having to call the Contact Center. However, the new tool cannot be used to reschedule an appointment that has already been rescheduled two or more times, or outside of 12 hours before the scheduled appointment time.

You can access the biometric services appointment rescheduling tool through a USCIS online account, regardless of whether the pending case was filed online or by mail. Claimants for benefits and accredited representatives will still have the option of calling the USCIS Contact Center to reschedule an appointment, but USCIS encourages users to use the new tool to save time, increase efficiency, and reduce call volume to the USCIS Contact Center.

USCIS has also issued guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual to explain that the agency may consider a late request to reschedule a biometric services appointment and the consequences of not showing up for an appointment, and to explain how the agency considers a timely request to reschedule a biometric services appointment for “just cause”. A fair house exists when the rescheduling request provides a sufficient reason for the benefit applicant to be unable to appear on the scheduled date. Sufficient reasons may include, but are not limited to:

• Illness, medical appointment, or hospitalization;

• Pre-planned trips;

• Significant events, such as a wedding, funeral, or graduation ceremony;

• Inability to obtain transportation to the appointment location;

• Inability to obtain leave from employment or responsibilities as a caregiver; and

• Appointment notification for biometric services delivered late or not delivered.

USCIS only accepts late rescheduling requests submitted to the USCIS Contact Center and does not accept late rescheduling requests by mail or in person at a USCIS office, or through MyUSCIS online rescheduling tool.

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