As a part of various USCIS immigration applications, the U.S. government requires the applicants’ biometrics to be collected in order to conduct relevant background checks and services prior to granting the requested immigration benefits. In the past, mobile biometrics services (e.g., photographs and fingerprinting) may be provided by USCIS at pre-determined locations for those with disabilities or health issues that prevent them from appearing at an Application Support Center (ASC). The agency may also provide mobile biometrics in limited other circumstances. For example, on a case-by-case basis, it may provide mobile biometrics for individuals who reside in remote locations who would have to use multiple modes of transportation or deal with substantial travel times to arrive at an Application Support Center (ASC).
USCIS employees or contractors will handle these services. If the applicant’s location is remote, USCIS may decide to coordinate with local law enforcement agencies or other DHS agencies to collect the biometrics. When the biometrics are not collected directly by a USCIS employee or contractor, USCIS provides the fingerprint card and requires a clear chain of custody until the biometrics are delivered to the carrier service and returned to the USCIS. As with biometrics applications at ASCs, the applicant must bring the Form I-797C appointment notice and an acceptable photo ID, passport, or driver’s license for identification purposes.
Mobile services are not provided for individuals in custody at correctional institutions or non-DHS detention facilities. Regular procedures, including rescheduling procedures, must be followed. To reschedule, the applicant must call before the date and time of the original appointment and establish good cause for rescheduling. Failure to reschedule may result in a denial of the petition or application.
As for those detained in DHS facilities and applying for USCIS benefits, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and ERO (Enforcement and Removal Operations) handle background and security checks. Fingerprint waivers are possible and may be granted for medical reasons, including psychiatric reasons. Waivers cannot be reused. Any subsequent applications would require a new waiver application.
Jackson Lewis attorneys are available to assist you with questions about biometrics appointments and waivers.