AILA Quicktake #260: USCIS Announces Revised Form I-539

AILA National, with the help of AILA’s USCIS HQ Liaison Committee, sent a letter to USCIS regarding the announcement of a revised Form I-539 and new Form I-539A, both with mandatory effective dates. AILA’s President-Elect Marketa Lindt explains AILA’s concerns over these significant changes.


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  • Click to tweet: On February 11, #USCIS announced that it will revise Form I-539, the form used by individuals to extend or change their nonimmigrant status. Learn about the revised I-539A form in this #AILAQuickTake. http://ow.ly/b6m430nNuBO

  • Click to tweet: In this #AILAQuickTake, @marketalindt explains recent changes to Form I-539 and shares @AILANational’s concern over the speed at which the revised I-539A Form will be made mandatory. http://ow.ly/b6m430nNuBO

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  • On February 11, USCIS announced that it will revise Form I-539, the form used by individuals to extend or change their nonimmigrant status. Learn about the revised I-539A form in this AILA quicktake video. http://ow.ly/b6m430nNuBO

Video Transcript

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On February 11 2019, USCIS announced that it had revised the form I-539 which is
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the form that is used by individuals to extend or change their non-immigrant
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status in the United States. USCIS has indicated that it plans to publish the
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revised form I-539 on the USCIS website on March 11 2019. As of that date
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March 11 2019, USCIS will only accept the revised form I-539 and will reject
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any other prior editions of the form. USCIS also announced that it will be
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publishing a new form I-539A which will replace the prior supplement A that was
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provided in previous versions of the form I-539.
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And the revised form I-539 includes significant changes
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including a new requirement that every applicant
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and co-applicant pay a new $85 biometrics fee
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and as part of the I-539 process attend a biometric services appointment.
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And this requirement applies to all applicants including children regardless of age.
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First from a timing standpoint, AILA's concern at the speed with which USCIS is
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rolling out this new form and the fee and the process that go with it.
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In contrast to the agency's long-standing policy and practice for introducing new forms.
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Here there's no grace period where the agency will it accept both the new
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version of the form and prior editions of the form.
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And this greatly disadvantages applicants who may not be aware of the changes
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in the forms, in the process especially those who are not represented by lawyers.
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AILA is also concerned that the new addition of the form I-539 will be released
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on the same day that it's made mandatory and these issues are particularly
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burdensome on our members and our clients given that
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the March 11 implementation date of this new I-539 form falls
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at the height of the H-1B cap preparation season.
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Today AILA National with the help of
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AILA's USCIS Headquarters Liaison Committee sent a letter to
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USCIS director Francis Cissna requesting that USCIS delay the March 11th 2019
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effective date for the revised form I-539. In the letter AILA is asking USCIS
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to institute a 90 day grace period until June 9th 2019
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where it will continue to accept the current
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version of the form I-539 and the supplement A so that we can have
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an orderly transition to the new form and not unnecessarily disrupt the filing
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process during this year's H-1B cap season. In addition AILA is requesting
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that USCIS suspend the new mandatory biometrics requirement and fee for all
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I-539 applicants until the public has had a meaningful opportunity to comment
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on the burdens imposed by this new requirement.
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AILA will continue to monitor this issue and we will update our practice pointer
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and our members as more information becomes available.
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Thank you.

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 19022136.