Biometrics Appointments for Fingerprints

At a biometrics appointment, also called a fingerprint appointment, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will collect your fingerprints, photo, and signature. Biometrics appointments are a normal part of the asylum process. If you want to pursue your asylum case, it is very important to go to your biometrics appointment!

Scroll down or click on the links below to read questions and answers from the Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project (ASAP).

What is a biometrics appointment?

A biometrics appointment (also called fingerprint appointment) is an appointment with USCIS. During the appointment, USCIS collects your fingerprints, photo, and signature.

If you apply for asylum, you will be required to go to a biometrics appointment. It is a normal part of the asylum process, whether you have a case in immigration court or with USCIS. The information that USCIS gathers from you in your biometrics appointment will be used to confirm your identity, and also to check your immigration history and any criminal history.

It is very important to go to your biometrics appointment. It is extremely rare to be detained at a biometrics appointment, even if you have a deportation order or criminal convictions. If you do not go to your biometrics appointment, your asylum application could be denied. It could also result in delays or denial of your work permit application when you apply for your work permit.

When USCIS has scheduled a biometrics appointment for you, you will receive a biometrics appointment notice in the mail with the date and time of your appointment. Make sure to check your mail regularly and keep your address updated.

Read here to make sure you have taken the necessary steps for USCIS to schedule your biometrics appointment

How do I get scheduled for a biometrics appointment?

How you get scheduled for a biometrics appointment depends on whether you are applying for asylum with USCIS or immigration court.

If you are applying for asylum with USCIS, you will submit an asylum application (Form I-589) to USCIS. You will then be automatically scheduled for a biometrics appointment.

If you are applying for asylum in immigration court, you will submit an asylum application (Form I-589) in immigration court. Then you have to send a copy of the first three pages of your application to USCIS in order to schedule your biometrics appointment. You need to complete your biometrics appointment before your individual hearing.

  • After you submit your asylum application to the immigration court, you need to send these documents to USCIS:
    • A copy of the first three pages of your asylum application (preferably with a stamp showing the date you filed your application in immigration court).
    • A copy of these instructions from USCIS webpage.
  • Mail these documents to:

USCIS Nebraska Service Center
Defensive Asylum Application with Immigration Court
P.O. Box 87589
Lincoln, NE 68501-7589

When is my biometrics appointment?

When USCIS has scheduled a biometrics appointment for you, you will receive a biometrics appointment notice in the mail. Make sure to check your mail regularly and keep your address updated.

Your biometrics appointment notice tells you the date, time, and location of your appointment. You should plan to arrive 15 minutes before your appointment. 

What should I do if I have not received a biometrics appointment notice?

If you have not received a biometrics appointment notice, your next steps depend on whether you are applying for asylum with USCIS or with immigration court.

If you are applying with USCIS: 

  1. Check your documents to see if you have received a receipt notice for submitting your asylum application (Form I-589). Unfortunately, it is currently normal to have to wait a long time before USCIS sends you a receipt notice.
  2. If you have not received a receipt notice after three months, you can call the USCIS Contact Center at 1-800-375-5283. When you are asked to explain what you are calling about, you can say “InfoPass” in order to speak with a representative. Then, you can explain that you submitted your asylum application three months ago but you have not received a receipt notice. Be sure to have your A Number ready (if you have one), as well as any mailing information you may have, such as the date you mailed your documents and the mailing tracking number.
  3. If you have received a receipt notice, use the receipt number to check your case status on this USCIS webpage. If you learn that USCIS sent you a biometrics appointment notice but you did not receive it in the mail, you can call the USCIS Contact Center at 1-800-375-5283. If you learn that you missed your biometrics appointment already, you can call and explain that you did not receive your notice and ask to reschedule the appointment.
  4. If USCIS has not sent you a biometrics appointment notice yet, you can keep checking your case status every week. It is normal to have to wait for a while before getting scheduled for a biometrics appointment. Make sure to check your mail and keep your address updated.

If you are applying with immigration court: 

  1. Follow these instructions to request a biometrics appointment.
  2. Check your documents to see if you have received a receipt notice for submitting your documents to USCIS. Unfortunately, it is currently normal to have to wait a long time before USCIS sends you a receipt notice.
  3. If you have not received a receipt notice after three months, you can call the USCIS Contact Center at 1-800-375-5283. When you are asked to explain what you are calling about, you can say “InfoPass” in order to speak with a representative. Then, you can explain that you are seeking asylum in immigration court, and you submitted a copy of your asylum application to USCIS, but you have not received a receipt notice. Be sure to have your A Number ready (if you have one), as well as any mailing information you may have, such as the date you mailed your documents and the mailing tracking number.
  4. If you have received a receipt notice, you should automatically receive a biometrics appointment notice in the mail. Keep checking your mail and keep your address updated. If after 2 months, you still have not received a biometrics appointment notice, you can call USCIS Contact Center at 1-800-375-5283. During the call, if you learn that you missed your biometrics appointment, you can explain that you did not receive your biometrics appointment notice and ask to reschedule the appointment.
  5. If your individual hearing is happening soon, but you still have not received a biometrics appointment notice, you can call the USCIS Contact Center at 1-800-375-5283. You can also contact the government attorney assigned to your immigration court case, and tell them that you have not had your biometrics appointment yet. You can find the phone numbers of government attorney offices here. The government attorney may be able to get you scheduled for a biometrics appointment.

What do I need to bring with me to my biometrics appointment?

When you go to your appointment, you need to bring your appointment notice with you.

You also need an identification document, such as your passport. If you do not have a valid government-issued ID, you can try bringing as many of the following documents as you have:

  • Birth certificate
  • School ID
  • Expired IDs
  • A copy or photo of an ID
  • An immigration document, especially one with your photo on it, like this ICE check-in log.

What should I do if I cannot go to my biometrics appointment on the scheduled date?

If you cannot go to your biometrics appointment, you can call the USCIS Contact Center at 1-800-375-5283 before your appointment date and let them know why you need to reschedule it.

If you miss your appointment, your asylum application could be denied. It can also result in delays or denial of your work permit application when you apply for your work permit. So it is very important that you reschedule your appointment before your appointment date.

What should I do if I already missed my biometrics appointment?

Missing a biometrics appointment can cause your asylum case to be denied or delayed. It could also cause your work permit application to be denied or delayed. That is why it is important to try to reschedule your appointment as soon as possible if you already missed it!

If you already missed your appointment, but it has been less than a few weeks, you can try going to the USCIS office location listed in your biometrics appointment notice. You can explain your situation to the officers and ask them to take your fingerprints at that time. Some USCIS offices allow this.

If you already missed your appointment, and it has been more than a few weeks, you can call USCIS Contact Center at 1-800-375-5283 as soon as possible. You can explain what happened, and ask them to reschedule your appointment.

If you are having problems with your immigration case because you missed your biometrics appointment, you may wish to find legal assistance to understand your options.

Note: This page is for adults who are interested in seeking asylum in the United States. Our hope is that you will use the information to better understand the asylum process and take control of your case. However, this information is not a substitute for legal advice about your particular case. To look for legal assistance, visit ASAP’s find help page