In the first bit of relief for individuals waiting for their I-765, Applications for Employment Authorization to be adjudicated and Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) to be issued, USCIS announced that it will start reusing previously submitted biometrics to process I-765 renewal requests, for now.
This is a temporary accommodation until the Application Support Centers (ASC) reopen. Applicants who had appointments scheduled with an ASC on or after the March 18, 2020 COVID-19-triggered closure of ASC offices, or who have already filed I-765 renewal requests, will have their applications processed with their “old” biometrics.
There are already long processing delays for EADs of three to six months or more. And while some who timely file for EAD extensions such as refugees, TPS holders and those with pending Adjustment of Status applications can work for up to 180 days while their cases are pending, others such as L-2 dependents do not have that luxury. The inability to obtain biometrics was exacerbating the problem of extended delays.
Perhaps USCIS will eventually decide to reuse biometrics in general. But for now, this is a temporary workaround.
Jackson Lewis will provide updates as they become available.