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Immigration Bulletin – USCIS to Publish a Revised Form I-539 and New Form I-539A Requiring Additional Action and Fees from Applicants


On February 11, 2019, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced that, on March 11, 2019, the agency will publish a revised Form I-539 and a new Form I-539A. Effective March 11, 2019, i.e., the same day that the revised Form is released, USCIS will accept only the new version of the Forms (with an edition date of 02/04/2019). Submissions containing any other versions of the Forms will be rejected.

Form I-539 is used by individuals across all nonimmigrant visa categories to change or extend their current nonimmigrant status. Form I-539A is a supplemental form that is used to include any dependent family members (typically children) as part of the principal I-539 application. The current version of Form I-539 requires only the signature of the principal applicant and allows all co-applicants (e.g., dependent children) to share a Form I-539A. The current application fee is $370 for Form I-539, with no additional fees for Form I-539A.

The revised version of Form I-539 will contain significant changes in that every co-applicant will be required to submit and sign their own separate Form I-539A. Parents or guardians will be permitted to sign Form I-539A on behalf of children under 14.

Additionally, and as of March 11, 2019, all applicants (principal applicants and co-applicants) will be required to pay a fee of $85 for biometric services and must also appear at a USCIS Application Support Center (ASC) to attend a biometric services appointment (to submit photographs and fingerprints) regardless of age. Upon submission of Form I-539 (and I-539A), all applicants will receive an individual notice scheduling their respective biometric services appointments. In the event that a co-applicant wishes to attend a biometric services appointment at a location other than the ASC closest to the primary applicant’s residential address, the co-applicant must file his/her own Form I-539.

We will work with all clients and applicants to ensure that, as of March 11, 2019, the revised Form is submitted to USCIS and that all applicants provide the appropriate information/fees for their dependent family members/co-applicants.

Additionally, and with the Fiscal Year 2020 H-1B Cap season upon us, we anticipate that several H-1B applicants will require the new Form I-539 and I-539A. An application must be accepted and entered into the system before an ASC appointment can be scheduled. Therefore, and in the event that an H-1B Cap petition containing the revised Form I-539 is not selected in the lottery, the applicants (and co-applicants) will not be required to appear for a biometric services appointment and all applicable fees will be returned.

Please contact any member of the Cohen & Grigsby Immigration Department if you have any questions regarding the above at 412.297.4900. To receive future bulletins and news alerts, please send an e-mail to

Copyright © 2019 by Cohen & Grigsby, P.C. (No claim to original U.S. Governmental material.)

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