On May 17, 2021, USCIS will discontinue the biometric requirement for H-4 and L-2 applicants. The implementation of mandatory biometrics (digital fingerprints and photos) for spouses of H-1B (temporary workers) and L-1’s (intracorporate transferees) in March 2019 has resulted in backlogs, bottlenecks and extremely long processing times for accompanying spouses and children. These unjustified delays have caused severe hardship for tens of thousands of families, including lost jobs and other financial hardship.
The imposition of the biometric requirement was meant to prevent the approval of benefits for individuals who were a threat to national security and public safety. In fact, this thinly-disguised anti-immigrant measure provided no positive benefit and instead resulted in tremendous costs, both for applicants and the government. The elimination of the biometric requirement for H-4’s and L-2’s will mean a return to more predictable processing times for noncitizens who meet eligibility requirements for certain immigration benefits. Thank you to the law firm of Wasden and Banias for their courageous lawyering in bringing the lawsuit that led to this result. Additional information and details to follow.