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Fingerprints

USCIS requires applicants and petitioners for certain immigration benefits to be fingerprinted for the purpose of conducting FBI criminal background checks. To better ensure both the quality and integrity of the process, USCIS processes fingerprint cards for immigration benefits only if an authorized fingerprint site prepares them. Authorized fingerprint sites include USCIS offices, Application Support Centers (ASCs), and U.S. consular offices and military installations abroad. In general, USCIS schedules people to be fingerprinted at an authorized fingerprint site after an application or petition is filed. USCIS charges a set fee per person (for most applicants) at the time of filing for this fingerprinting service. Please check the instructions on your Immigration application or petition form to find out if you must be fingerprinted.

The following three points apply for all immigration benefits applications (see exceptions below) requiring an FD-258 fingerprint check filed with USCIS after March 29, 1998:

  1. Do not submit a completed fingerprint card (FD-258) with your application. Your application will be accepted without the fingerprint card attached. If you submit a completed fingerprint card with your application on or after March 29, 1998, the card will be rejected and you will be scheduled to be fingerprinted by USCIS.
  2. Do submit fee, in addition to the application fee, payable to USCIS, with your application. The fee is noted at the top of our Forms and Fees page. This charge will cover the cost for you to be fingerprinted by USCIS.
  3. After USCIS receives your application, USCIS will provide you with an appointment letter with the location of the nearest USCIS authorized fingerprint site. Please read the instructions in the appointment letter, and take it to USCIS authorized fingerprint site when you go to your fingerprint appointment.

Exceptions:

Applicants and petitioners residing abroad who are fingerprinted at a United States consular or military installation abroad do not need to be fingerprinted by USCIS and are exempt from the fingerprint fee. These applicants and petitioners must file their completed card at the time their application or petition is filed.

The following forms are subject to exceptions to the above requirements.  

To find the Application Support Centers (ASCs) closest to you, see the "USCIS Service and Office Locator" page. You can also call our toll free number at 1-800-375-5283.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 03/22/2012