On May 11, 2021, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it no longer accepts written, mailed-in requests to reschedule biometrics appointments. Instead, requestors must call the USCIS Contact Center to reschedule their biometric services appointments scheduled at a USCIS Application Support Center. The phone number for the USCIS Contact Center is 800-375-5283. USCIS closed the Potomac Processing Center, which previously scheduled these appointments.
Applicants must now call USCIS to reschedule a biometrics appointment and justify the need for a rescheduling request. When calling USCIS to request a rescheduled biometrics appointment, applicants must establish good cause for rescheduling. Additionally, applicants must call before the date and time of their original appointment to reschedule. If an applicant fails to call before the scheduled appointment or fails to justify the rescheduling request, USCIS may consider the application, petition, or request abandoned. As a result, pending cases may be denied.
Importantly, if applicants request to reschedule multiple times, it is possible that USCIS will not allow subsequent requests. Moreover, USCIS does not entertain reschedule requests for specific dates in the future. Thus, it is not possible to ask for a rescheduled appointment for a certain date, especially dates far in the future for when an applicant may be returning to the United States. If the applicant fails to go to the appointment, USCIS will consider the application abandoned. Recently, USCIS has denied I-829 Petitions for failure to attend a scheduled biometrics appointment.
Thus, in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, USCIS is tightening its policies and making it more difficult to reschedule appointments. USCIS will attempt to reuse previous biometrics where possible, but unless a notice is received by USCIS that the prior biometrics are being used, applicants must attend their new appointment. Therefore, it is imperative that applicants aim to make the first appointment scheduled for them by USCIS to avoid additional delays or application denials.