Some immigration applications require you to go to a biometrics appointment. Also known as an ASC (Application Support Center) appointment, the main purpose is for Immigration to take your picture and fingerprints for their records.
When Do I Need a Biometrics Appointment?
- Adjustment of status
- Consular processing
- DACA renewal
- Fiance visa
- Green card renewal
- Lifting conditional residency
- Missionary visa
- U nonimmigrant status
- Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
Where Do I Go for My Appointment?
Immigration schedules your biometrics appointment for you. They will send you the details in your ACS notice (Form I-797C), including the date, time, and place. If you are in the Catholic Charities Milwaukee service area, you will go to 310 E Knapp Street, Milwaukee, WI 53202. The biometrics appointments are on the first floor to your right as you pass through security.
What do I Bring to My Appointment?
- Your biometrics or ASC appointment notice (Form I-797C);
- Valid photo identification, such as your green card, passport, or driver’s license); and
- You may want to bring a copy of your Immigration application in case you need to reference it for spelling. During your biometrics appointment, you will be asked to fill out a short form and you must spell everything on it identically to your application. This is especially helpful if, for example, your native alphabet is not the same as the English alphabet and you often use different spellings for names. But Immigration needs you to spell everything the same way every time you fill out one of their forms.
Have your photo identification ready, because you will need it to get through security. They will not let you take in any open beverage containers or food, and you must silence your cell phone. Also, make sure you leave any sharp or dangerous objects at home. For example, you should not take in a Swiss Army knife or scissors. The security officers will also ask to remove any large metal objects such as a belt with a buckle, larger metal jewelry such as big necklaces, bracelets or watches, or shoes that have a metal shank.
During your biometrics appointment, they will ask you for some basic information. Then they will take your fingerprints on a glass screen, a digital photograph of your face, and a digital copy of your signature. Immigration uses these identifiers to make sure that you do not have any history of fraud or criminal activity. Also, if you are going to your biometrics appointment because you are applying for citizenship, Immigration will use this photograph for your certificate of naturalization.
If You Cannot Make it to Your Appointment
If you miss your biometrics appointment or if you cannot go, you must notify Immigration by letter. The appointment notice you received will tell you where to mail it. You should send your letter at the post office using a service called return receipt requested so you can prove that you mailed it. Also, you should make a copy of your appointment notice to keep for your records, but you have to mail the original with your letter to Immigration.
When You or Your Child Turns 14 Years Old
When a child turns 14, he or she can no longer renew their existing green card. They will have to apply for a new one, which will require them to go to a biometrics appointment.
If you are filing because you have reached your 14th birthday, but your existing card does not expire until after your 16th birthday, you do not have to pay as much; you pay only the biometrics fees. Also, once your child turns 14, your child has to sign his or her own immigration forms; you cannot sign any longer as the parent.
Beneficiaries of Citizenship
If USCIS asks for the biometrics of anyone involved with your immigration application, your loved one must also go to their ASC appointment. From their website:
“USCIS has the general authority to require and collect biometrics (fingerprints, photograph, and/or digital signature) from any applicant, petitioner, sponsor, beneficiary, or other individual residing in the United States for any immigration and naturalization benefit.”
For more information about biometrics, please visit USCIS.gov.
Immigration Now Has Your Criminal Record
Now that Immigration has taken your picture and a scan of your fingerprints, they have the information they need to track your criminal record. Remember, do not lie on any Immigration application about your criminal background. It will not work.
Last updated: 3-27-2019
Immigration law is always changing. We will do our best to keep our website as up-to-date as possible, but the latest information might be more readily available at USCIS.gov. These pages were written to help you better understand your legal options, however, none of the information published by Catholic Charities Milwaukee should be considered legal advice. If you plan to open your own immigration case, hire an immigration attorney to consult you personally.