This report covers revised Form I-539 and new Form I-539A to be issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which could make extending or changing one’s nonimmigrant status more burdensome and costly.
To subscribe to GMS Flash Alert, fill out the subscription form.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has revised form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status.1 USCIS will publish the new form on March 11, 2019. Further, USCIS has indicated that effective from the date of publication, only the revised Form I-539 will be accepted.
Foreign nationals seeking to live in the United States need to be aware of the changes coming up for Form I-539, so they can properly complete and submit their applications using the up-to-date forms along with the correct filing fee(s). They must further be prepared for changes in filing procedures with respect to any co-applicants, which will see them completing and signing their own forms (Form I-539A).
The new procedures and requirements around Forms I-539 and I-539A will make extending or changing one’s nonimmigrant status more burdensome and costly. Further, the administrative burden of implementing USCIS’s new biometrics policy will likely result in lengthier case adjudication timelines for Form I-539 and any employment authorization applications dependent on approval of this form.
USCIS will reject any Form I-539 that is missing any of the required signatures or biometric fees.
Form I-539 is used for a variety of applications including the following:
USCIS has changed the filing and adjudication requirements significantly. Below we offer a summary of the changes.
Currently, Form I-539 is completed by the primary applicant and each co-applicant is listed on the Form’s Supplement A. The form only requires the signature of the primary applicant and a single filing fee ($370).
Effective March 11, 2019, a new form, Form I-539A, must be completed for each individual co-applicant. Each co-applicant will be required to sign his or her respective Form I-539A (parents can continue to sign the forms for children under 14 years of age and any co-applicant who is not mentally competent to sign).
An additional $85 biometrics fee will be charged per I-539 applicant and I-539A co-applicant. This fee is in addition to the $370 Form I-539 application filing fee.
Effective March 11, 2019, all new I-539 applicants and co-applicants will receive a biometric services appointment notice containing their individual receipt number. Regardless of age, each applicant and co-applicant will be required to attend a biometric services appointment so that fingerprints, photographs, and signatures may be collected. Biometric services appointments will be scheduled at the Application Support Center (ASC) closest to the primary applicant’s address.
This is a significant change as currently, biometrics are typically only collected for immigrant visa and parallel applications, and not for nonimmigrant status applications.
1 See the recent USCIS announcement, “USCIS to Publish Revised Form I-539 and New Form I-539A.”
* Please note that KPMG LLP (U.S.) does not provide any immigration services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.
The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Canada.
© 2021 KPMG LLP, an Ontario limited liability partnership and a member firm of the KPMG global organization of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Limited, a private English company limited by guarantee. All rights reserved.
For more detail about the structure of the KPMG global organization please visit https://home.kpmg/governance.
Flash Alert is an Global Mobility Services publication of KPMG LLPs Washington National Tax practice. The KPMG logo and name are trademarks of KPMG International. KPMG International is a Swiss cooperative that serves as a coordinating entity for a network of independent member firms. KPMG International provides no audit or other client services. Such services are provided solely by member firms in their respective geographic areas. KPMG International and its member firms are legally distinct and separate entities. They are not and nothing contained herein shall be construed to place these entities in the relationship of parents, subsidiaries, agents, partners, or joint venturers. No member firm has any authority (actual, apparent, implied or otherwise) to obligate or bind KPMG International or any member firm in any manner whatsoever. The information contained in herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation.