USCIS announced that it has introduced a new self-service tool that allows individuals applying for benefits, and their representatives, to reschedule biometric services appointments online. 


Previously, individuals could only reschedule a biometric services appointment by calling the USCIS Contact Center. With this new tool, individuals who have or create a USCIS online account can reschedule most requests for biometric services appointments without having to first call the Contact Center. The new tool, however, cannot be used to reschedule an appointment that already has been rescheduled two or more times, is within 12 hours, or that has already passed. 


It is important to note that untimely rescheduling requests can only be made to the USCIS Contact Center and cannot be submitted by mail nor in-person.  Moreover, the USCIS press release explains that the agency may consider an untimely request to reschedule a biometric services appointment and the effect of failing to appear for an appointment.  Previously, the failure to attend a biometric services appointment without having submitted a rescheduling request would result in the denial of the requested benefit. This new guidance may enable applicants to be approved for a rescheduled appointment without also having to file a Motion to Reopen the denial of the underlying application. 


Lastly, USCIS has also updated its Policy Manual on what the agency may consider “good cause” for a timely request to reschedule a biometrics services appointment, including, but not limited to: medical reasons, significant life events, previously planned travel, inability to obtain transportation, inability to obtain leave from employment or caregiving responsibilities, and late delivered/undelivered biometric services appointment notices.