U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published revised Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status and new Form I-539A, Supplemental Information to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. Applicants may continue to file the current Forms I-539 and Supplement A until March 21, 2019; as of March 22, 2019, only the revised I-539 and I-539A will be accepted by USCIS. The I-539A may not be filed as a stand-alone form.
According to USCIS, it may verify the information provided on the I-539/I-539A before or after the application is processed. In addition, USCIS has a variety of tools to verify the information provided, including, but not limited to: public records and information; the Internet; interviews; and unannounced physical site inspections of residences and locations of employment. This information will be used to assess an applicant’s compliance with relevant law and to determine eligibility for immigration benefits. Applicants will have an opportunity to respond to any adverse or derogatory information.
As we previously noted, expanding biometrics requirements to I-539 applicants is a significant change in how USCIS previously adjudicated Form I-539 and may be an indication of further expansion of biometrics and other vetting tools into the nonimmigrant petition world.
If you need assistance with the new requirements or other immigration related issues, please contact us.
Natalie Tynan is a former DHS lawyer who focuses on immigration compliance and related issues.