On June 17, 2009, the USCIS announced new procedures for rescheduling biometrics appointments in connection with the Form I-131, Application for Travel Document (reentry permit application). The USCIS has begun to deny reentry permit applications where the biometrics have not been completed within 120 days of filing. The USCIS now requires that the applicant must appear for the biometrics appointment by the scheduled date or make a request to reschedule prior to appointment date. If an applicant is unable to attend his scheduled appointment, the USCIS now requires a reasonable excuse explaining why the appointment was missed. The Application Support Center (ASC) will be rescheduling appointments within 30 days from the date of the reschedule request. The ASC will not honor requests for rescheduling outside the 30 day timeframe. The USCIS cautioned that applicants who travel overseas without completing the biometrics appointment, and who do not timely file a request for their appoint rescheduling, will likely face a denial.
In addition, applicants will now have to be more vigilant in monitoring their appointment notices as those who do not make an active effort to follow up with the ASC regarding a reschedule request will face denial, regardless of any evidence of a timely attempt to reschedule. The USCIS also warned that applicants who repeatedly ask to reschedule their biometrics appointment and do not complete the biometrics within 120 days of the initial filing date, will face a denial. The USCIS reviews all applications initially, upon data entry, for the applicant’s departure date and makes every attempt to schedule the applicant prior to his departure. The USCIS encourages submitting pre-paid express mailing labels to facilitate the return of the appointment notice if the time frame between filing and departure is short. The USCIS has reported that it devotes significant resources to this process, to give every applicant the chance to appear for biometrics before his departure date.