U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) introduced a convenient self-service tool that enables benefit requestors, as well as their attorneys and accredited representatives, to reschedule most biometric services appointments before the scheduled date.
This initiative aims to enhance customer service and align with the objectives set forth in Executive Order on Transforming Federal Customer Experience and Service Delivery to Rebuild Trust in Government Mandates.
USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou expressed the agency’s commitment to improving the customer experience by designing services that are accessible to individuals of all abilities.
Biometric Rescheduling Made Easier
Previously, those seeking benefits and accredited representatives were only able to request rescheduling of biometric services appointments by contacting the USCIS Contact Center.
However, with the introduction of this new tool, individuals with a USCIS online account can now reschedule most biometric services appointments without having to call the Contact Center.
It is important to note that the tool cannot be used to reschedule appointments that have already been rescheduled twice or more, are within 12 hours, or have already passed.
The biometric services appointment rescheduling tool is accessible through a USCIS online account, regardless of whether the case was submitted online or by mail.
While benefit requestors and accredited representatives still have the option to call the USCIS Contact Center for rescheduling, USCIS strongly encourages the use of the new tool to save time, increase efficiency, and reduce call volume to the Contact Center.
Biometrics collection allows USCIS to verify a person’s identity, produce secure documents, and facilitate required criminal and national security background checks to protect national security and public safety, as well as to ensure that the person is eligible for the benefit sought.
Guidance on Rescheduling and “Good Cause”
USCIS is providing guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual to clarify its approach toward untimely requests for rescheduling biometric services appointments and the consequences of failing to appear for an appointment.
The agency also outlines how it considers timely requests for rescheduling based on “good cause.” In such cases, the request should provide a sufficient reason for the benefit requestor’s inability to appear on the originally scheduled date.
Acceptable 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.
Biometric Rescheduling Procedures
It is important to note that USCIS only accepts untimely rescheduling requests made through the USCIS Contact Center and does not accept untimely requests to reschedule by mail or in person at a USCIS office.
Additionally, the myUSCIS online rescheduling tool cannot be used for untimely requests.
By introducing this self-service tool and providing comprehensive guidance, USCIS aims to enhance the overall experience for benefit requestors and their representatives, streamlining the rescheduling process and ensuring timely and efficient service delivery.