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Important Changes to Form I-539 Being Effective from March 11, 2019

Important Changes to Form I-539 Being Effective from March 11, 2019


Changes to Form I-539 are on the way. USCIS recently made some important changes to Form I-539. According to the institution source, USCIS will publish the revised Form I-539 on the website on March 11, 2019. These changes will require the use of a new version of Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. H-4 and L-2 holders generally use Form I-539 to extend or change their dependents’ status.

According to USCIS, the following groups use Form I-539:

  • Nonimmigrants who want to extend their stay or changing the nonimmigrant status.
  • CNMI residents who apply for an initial grant of status.
  • F and M nonimmigrants who apply for reinstatement.
  • Applicants seeking V nonimmigrant status or an extension of stay as a V nonimmigrant.

USCIS also announced that applicants have to use a new Form I-539A titled Supplemental Information for Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status.  USCIS did not grant an extension of time for continued use of former versions of Form I-539.  However, USCIS hasn’t revealed the preview of the new version of the Form I-539.

Form I-539 will have the following implications:

  • Every co-applicant has to submit and sign a separate Form I-539A which is the revised version of Form I-539.  However, Parents or legal guardians may sign on behalf of children under 14 or any co-applicant who is mentally incompetent. 
  • Every applicant and co-applicant will have to pay an $85 biometric service fee. However, certain A, G, and NATO nonimmigrants will not pay the biometric service fee, as specified in the new version of Form I-539.
  • All applicants, including co-applicants, will attend a biometric service for fingerprinting.
  • Form I-539 Applicants will have an appointment notification.
  • Appointment for Form I-539 Applicants will be scheduled at the Application Support Centers (ASC). The center will be the closest center to the primary applicant’s address.

Changes to Form I-539 USCIS

These changes to Form I-539 may considerably impact processing procedures

Though Form I-539 is not suitable for premium processing when applied individually, the existing practice of USCISis normally to approve H-4 or L-2 status at the same time as a premium processed H-1B or L-1 as a courtesy.  So far, USCIS has not detailed how biometrics procedure will affect the processing of H-4 and L-2 visas. However new biometric regulation might hinder the process and can result in delays between the approval of an employee’s H-1B or L-1status and the approval of dependents’ H-4 or L-2 status. It is especially essential when premium processing is preferred.

As of March 11, 2019, USCIS will reject former Form I-539, any submission that is missing each applicant’s signature or biometrics fees including those required for Form I-539A.

Should you have concerns or questions regarding the H-1 B Visa or immigration issues or other American visa types, do not hesitate to contact us!   We’ll keep posting about updates. Follow us on our website and blog. Good luck!

Changes to Form I-539 USCIS


 With exceptional knowledge and insight into the Green Card application process, our experienced immigration attorneys at John Onal & Associates PC are ready to help and respond to your Green Card questions.

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