Some immigration applications call for a biometrics appointment, where the applicant would have to show up in an allocated immigration office at a specified date and time to get their identity verified and recorded. Although it sounds like a straightforward process, the whole scenario can differ on a case-to-case basis.
What is a Biometrics Appointment?
A biometrics appointment is a step in the application process for specific benefits, such as a green card, work card, or DACA. Depending on the type of application and the requirements of a case, there are several reasons why a biometrics appointment will have to be made.
An applicant will know that they need to attend one if they get a notice for a biometrics appointment in the mail, which indicates the date and time of their schedule. The notice will also have instructions on forms that need to be filled out and documents that need to be brought.
Tale of Two Biometrics Appointments
Although the biometrics appointment process sounds straightforward, applicants may have different experiences on site. Our law office has encountered two clients who attended their biometrics appointments in the Atlanta Application Support Center (ASC) in the same month but had completely different experiences.
The first client had a seamless biometrics appointment. She went to the ASC, handed over her notice, and was asked to move forward to the next room. She was then called, fingerprinted, and photographed. The whole process took only five minutes and she was out the door with a successful biometrics appointment.
A second client, who went to the same office within the same month, found that the process was longer than expected. She headed inside, turned in her notice, and was similarly asked to move onto the next room. However, in her case, she had to fall in line and wait for her turn. With the influx of people with the same appointment schedule, it took her 30 to 45 minutes to get through the line and enter the next room. It took another 15 minutes for her name to be called for fingerprints and a photograph.
Two clients with the same case attended the same office and had biometrics appointments in the same month, but experienced the biometrics process differently. For one client, the appointment lasted only 5 minutes. For the other, it took an entire hour.
3 Things to Know When Preparing For a Biometrics Appointment
What these two clients experienced in their biometrics appointments yields tips for applicants and what they can do to ensure the successful completion of the biometrics process.
Budget Time Wisely
How long a biometrics appointment will take relies mainly on how many people are scheduled to arrive on a specific date. For some applicants, they can be in and out within five minutes, but others may have to get through a line of people and wait for up to an hour.
When attending a biometrics appointment, it’s recommended that an applicant budgets their time wisely. Ideally, they should allocate 1-2 hours of their time for the process and ensure that they have the liberty to wait and complete their appointments when needed.
The Appointment Can Be Set at Strange Times
Biometrics appointments can be set as early as 6:30 in the morning or in the late evening. Some applicants may receive an appointment notice for 6:30 am and think that there has been a mistake because it’s too early. But regardless of what is written in their notice, they must make sure to attend on the date and time indicated.
Following instructions can make the process much more seamless and even shorten the time it takes to complete a biometrics appointment. From taking note of the appointment schedule and being there on time to filling up the forms and moving forward in the appointment office, being wary and abiding by the procedure can go a long way to ensuring that the biometrics appointment is easy, quick, and hassle-free.