With the the Application Support Centers (ASCs) being reopened for just over a month, we’ve had a lot of questions about when people can expect to have their appointments scheduled and rescheduled. Here’s what we know…
If you had biometrics taken in a previous filing, USCIS is trying to reuse them and run new background checks. If they are able to reuse your biometrics, you won’t be called in again. If you want to check if your biometrics were reused, you should receive a letter from USCIS saying exactly that. However, you can also check your case online and see if it says “As of DATE, fingerprints relating to your APPLICATION, Receipt Number XX, have been applied to your case.” If it does, then you’re good!
If this was going to be your first time to get biometrics taken, and the appointment was cancelled, USCIS will automatically reschedule you. We cannot reach out to USCIS about a new appointment until November 13th – 90 days after the ASCs reopened. Unfortunately, it does mean that it may take longer to get an approval on applications. I think that initial work cards based on new adjustment of status cases will be most impacted by this. We just don’t know how long, though. It’s frustrating and with so many benefits flowing from the work card – like being able to work, get a Social Security Number and getting driver’s license (at least in Georgia), it’s an impossible wait.
We also know that the ASCs are operating at a reduced capacity. They’re not able to see as many people as they did pre-COVID, so it will take longer to get everyone rescheduled. Hopefully, though, by mid-November the ASCs will be caught-up. BUT – and I say this to be transparent and not to scare anyone – USCIS is facing a potential furlough of 75% of its workforce starting September 3rd. If this happens, the ASCs will likely shutdown again, delaying the process even more. Let’s hope that Congress is able to fund USCIS (with oversight) and that ASC appointments can continue to happen.