U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) launched a new self-service tool allowing benefit requestors, and their attorneys and accredited representatives, to reschedule most biometric services appointments before the date of the appointment.
Introducing this tool is another way USCIS is improving customer service. By removing barriers and reducing burdens to applicants, USCIS is demonstrating the agency’s commitment to advancing the goals of Executive Order on Transforming Federal Customer Experience and Service Delivery to Rebuild Trust in Government Mandates (EO 14058).
“We are working steadily to improve the customer experience by designing and delivering services in a manner that people of all abilities can access,” said USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou.
Previously, benefit requestors and accredited representatives could only request to reschedule a biometric services appointment by calling the USCIS Contact Center. With this new tool, those individuals who have or create a USCIS online account can reschedule most requests for biometric services appointments without having to 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.
The biometric services appointment rescheduling tool can be accessed via a USCIS online account regardless of whether the pending case was submitted online or by mail. Benefit requestors and accredited representatives will still have the option to call the USCIS Contact Center to reschedule an appointment, but USCIS strongly encourages users to use the new tool to save time, increase efficiency, and reduce call volume to the USCIS Contact Center.
USCIS is also issuing guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual to explain that the agency may consider an untimely request to reschedule a biometric services appointment and the effect of failing to appear for an appointment, and to explain how the agency considers a timely request to reschedule a biometric services appointment for “good cause.” Good cause exists when the reschedule request provides sufficient reason for the benefit requestor’s inability to appear on the scheduled date. Sufficient reasons may include, but are not limited to:
- Illness, medical appointment, or hospitalization;
- Previously planned travel;
- Significant life events such as a wedding, funeral, or graduation ceremony;
- Inability to obtain transportation to the appointment location;
- Inability to obtain leave from employment or caregiver responsibilities; and
- Late delivered or undelivered biometric services appointment notice.
USCIS only accepts untimely rescheduling requests made to the USCIS Contact Center and does not accept untimely requests to reschedule by mail or in-person at a USCIS office or through the myUSCIS online rescheduling tool.