USCIS Launches Online Rescheduling of Biometrics Appointments
On June 28, 2023, USCIS launched a tool allowing immigration benefit requestors to reschedule biometric services appointments online. Under this service, such requestors, their attorneys, and accredited representatives may reschedule most biometrics services appointments online before the scheduled date of the appointment.
This online rescheduling tool is available via a USCIS online account regardless of whether they submitted the pending case online or by mail. Those requestors who may use this tool do not have to call the USCIS Contact Center to reschedule biometrics appointments as previously required.
Those who are not eligible to use this online tool may still request rescheduling by calling the USCIS Contact Center.
Who is eligible for the online rescheduling of biometrics appointments?
Immigration benefit requestors and their attorneys and accredited representatives may reschedule online if:
- the appointment is scheduled for a future date;
- the appointment is not within 12 hours;
- the requestors establish good cause to reschedule;
- the original appointment has not been rescheduled two or more times;
- the form the requestors have filed is not:
- Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative;
- Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition;
- Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative; and
- Form I-800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country.
What situations would USCIS consider “good cause” under the Timely Requests to Reschedule?
For Timely Requests to Reschedule where requestors request reschedule before the scheduled date and time, they must establish good cause. Good cause exists when the requestor provides a sufficient reason for the requestor’s ability to appear on the scheduled date.
According to USCIS, such sufficient reasons may include:
- Illness, medical appointment, or hospitalization;
- Previously planned travel;
- Significant life events such as a wedding, funeral, or graduation ceremony;
- Inability to obtain transportation to the appointment location;
- Inability to obtain leave from employment or caregiver responsibilities; and
- Late delivered or undelivered biometric services appointment notice
USCIS determines whether to grant a biometric services appointment reschedule request by considering whether good cause exists in the requested case.
What if I missed the scheduled date?
In accordance with regulations, USCIS considers the pending application abandoned and denied if the benefit requestor fails to appear for biometric services appointment without USCIS receiving a notice of a change of address or a request to reschedule the appointment by the appointment time.
Still, as to the biometrics services, USCIS has some latitude to relax procedural rules if justice so requires under the circumstances. Accordingly, USCIS may, in its discretion and based on the requestor’s circumstances, consider whether the requestor has abandoned the application has been abandoned. In considering the abandonment, USCIS reviews factors such as:
- The length of time between the missed appointment and the reschedule request;
- Whether the requestor has a sufficient reason for failing to appear; and
- Whether a denial would cause undue hardship or expense.
If requestors missed a biometrics appointment, such requestors (or their attorney or accredited representative) must call the USCIS Contact Center to request an appointment reschedule. USCIS does not accept the untimely requests to reschedule by mail, in person, or the online rescheduling tool.
When USCIS denies an application for abandonment, USCIS notifies the requestor and their attorney or authorized representative of the decision in writing. Such requestors may not apply the priority or processing date of the abandoned application to later applications.
Here is the link for the USCIS’ announcement of the online rescheduling tool.
 If the requestors are applicants who filed an Application for Asylum and for Withholding Removal (I-589) and fail to comply with biometrics processing without good cause, rather than denying the applications for abandonment, USCIS may dismiss the asylum application or refer the applicants to an immigration judge depending on the applicants’ status.