Starting after October 1, you do not need to pay the biometric services fee of $85 for the I-539 application- which is used to extend or change Nonimmigrant Status. The USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) announced on Monday, that starting on October 1, they will exempt the biometric services fee.
It must be made clear that if you file for the I-539 form before the Oct. 1 starting date, you might very well have to attend a scheduled appointment at a local Application Support Center (ASC), in which there is the fee of $85.
It is very unlikely that applicants will have to be present at a biometric services appointment- after Oct. 1, but the applicant will receive a notice with information about appearing for their biometric services appointment if USCIS decides that biometrics are needed.
There is an instance in which your Form I-539 will be rejected; If you submit both the biometric services fee and the Form I-539 filing fee, this is considered incorrect filing and will be rejected.
If you make a payment to biometric services separately from the submission of your Form I-539 fee, USCIS will return the biometric services fee and accept the Form I-539. Similarly, if you authorize a credit card payment which both the biometric services fee with the Form I-539 application fee, they will accept the application, and only charge the application fee.
The biometric services fee exemption will apply to all applicants filing on or after Oct.1, according to the USCIS official page. This exemption includes applicants who are requesting an extension of stay or change of status to H-4, L-2, or E nonimmigrant.
USCIS has a commitment to remove the biometric services fee, which was reported in the USCIS Fiscal Year 2022 Progress Report. USCIS is taking a step to remove an obstacle for people to migrate to the United States, which can be a strenuous process on its own.