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What Texas Immigrants Should Expect from Their Biometrics Appointment

Fingerprint cardThis is the next post in our series discussing what Texas immigrants need to know about applying for cancellation of removal in immigration court proceedings. Our last post explained all of the steps an immigrant must complete when applying for the cancellation of removal. In this post we will be explaining what a biometrics appointment is and what to expect from that part of the process.

Biometrics data helps the government positively verify the identification of Texas immigrants applying for cancellation of removal

If you or a Texas immigrant you know has applied for a green card or other type of visa in the past then it is likely you have gone through a biometrics appointment before. While the word “biometrics” sounds complicated, in reality, it is simply a method to collect unique physical data in which to positively identify each applicant. At your appointment your photo will be taken, you will be fingerprinted, and you will be asked to sign your name for an electronic capture of your signature. The entire process will take approximately twenty minutes, though there may be some waiting time as a large group of people are often given the same appointment time.

You will receive a notice for your biometric appointment from USCIS. Biometric appointments must take place at a USCIS authorized Application Support Center- you may not choose to go to a general fingerprinting center. If you are not able to make the appointment time you are given then you must call and reschedule as soon as possible. You will be asked to bring a copy of your appointment notice and some form of photo identification. You will also be asked to not bring a camera, food, or drinks to your appointment. Once you have completed your appointment then your notice will be stamped confirming that you attended your appointment.

An immigrant’s fingerprints will be ran through an FBI database to check for criminal convictions as part of the government’s data collection process

When an immigrant is fingerprinted then their information will be run through the FBI’s database. If you have been convicted of a crime then it will show up on your background check and the attorney for the government will have access to this information. If you are not eligible to apply for cancellation of removal because of a criminal conviction then it will be caught on the background check. It is not possible to apply and hope that your conviction will be “missed” during the process. You should not spend the time or money gathering documents and paying fees to apply for cancellation if you know you are not eligible. If you are not sure whether or not your criminal conviction will mark you as ineligible then it is important to consult with an immigration attorney prior to applying. Do not ask the staff at your biometrics appointment questions regarding your criminal history or what appears on your background check. It is only their job to take your information and they cannot provide you with legal advice, provide you information regarding your background, or alter your background check in any way.

If you are applying for a Cancellation of Removal and have questions about your biometrics appointment it is important to consult with an immigration attorney. Contact our Austin office today.

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