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USCIS Removes Biometrics Requirement for Form I-526E Petitioners

On March 15, 2023, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the biometrics submission requirement and US$85 fee requirement for petitioners filing Form I-526E (Immigrant Petition by Regional Center Investor) are no longer in effect.

Ques: Why USCIS eliminates the biometrics submission and fee requirement?

Ans: USCIS determined that biometrics fee collection is not necessary under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) 203(b)(5)(H)(iii) in connection with the filing of Form I-526E to certify compliance with INA 203(b)(5)(H)(i)-(ii).

It is pertinent to mention that USCIS may request for submission of biometrics from I-526E petitioners as and when it deems necessary under INA 203(b)(5)(H)(iii), 8 CFR 103.2(b)(9), or under applicable authority.

Ques: Will those who have already paid their biometric fees receive a refund?

Ans: Yes, USCIS will automatically refund the fees to all petitioners who have submitted Form I-526E with the biometrics fee (approximately 980 petitioners). Therefore, petitioners are not required to contact USCIS to request a refund.

Ques: Will there be a revised edition of Form I-526E?

Ans: Yes, USCIS released a revised edition of Form I-526E on March 15, 2023, with updated instructions. From May 15, 2023, USCIS will only accept the revised edition of Form I-526E and not the previous edition of Form I-526E.

However, till May 15, 2023, petitioners have the option to submit either the previous edition of Form I-526E (dated June 01, 2022) or the revised edition of Form I-526E (March 15, 2023).

Please note that the previous edition of Form I-526E still contains instructions about the biometrics submission requirement that are no longer valid.

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