USCIS to Reuse Biometrics for Employment Authorization Extensions
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, USCIS announced that previously submitted biometrics will be reused in order to process Form I-765 for employment authorization extension requests. Application Support Centers (ASC) are closed until at least April 7, but that date may shift as CDC guidelines mandate longer time periods for social distancing.
USCIS stated that any applicant with an appointment scheduled at an ASC on or after March 18, 2020 or who filed their I-765 extension will have the application processed using previously submitted biometrics. In other circumstances when biometrics have been reused, any biometrics fees paid to USCIS are nonrefundable, regardless of any action taken on the application, petition, or request, or if the request is withdrawn.
It is important that the Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization is still “timely filed” for the appropriate visa category. For most categories, applicants should not file an I-765 renewal more than 180 days (6 months) prior to the expiration of their current EAD. F-1 students have 30 days from the date that the Designated School Official (DSO) enters an OPT recommendation in SEVIS. Some categories also have automatic extensions due to long processing times. Employment authorizations could take up to 10 months according to posted USCIS processing time estimates.
Visit our COVID-19 Resource Page for Employers & Foreign Workers to read about other critical immigration updates.