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Sen. Hirono Announces Mobile Biometrics Program on Neighbor Islands

April 13, 2017, 10:30 AM HST
* Updated April 13, 1:06 PM
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US Sen. Mazie Hirono. Image courtesy US Senate.

Sen. Mazie K. Hirono announced that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will conduct a six-month mobile biometrics pilot program for immigration benefits on Hawai‘i Island and other Neighbor Islands from May through September.

“This pilot program will provide Neighbor Island residents with more equitable access to biometrics services as they apply for immigration benefits,” said Sen. Hirono.

USCIS will hold mobile biometrics collection on Hawai‘i Island for individuals who have received a biometrics appointment receipt on the following dates: April 24 to 28 in Kailua-Kona, May 15 to 19 in Hilo, June 19 to 23 in Kailua-Kona, July 17 to 21 in Hilo, August 21 to 25 in Kailua-Kona and September 18 to 22 in Hilo.

In June 2016, Sen. Hirono wrote to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director, urging him to restore mobile biometrics services to Neighbor Islands. This extended pilot program follows a successful one-week biometrics collection on Maui that Sen. Hirono announced in January.

Currently, immigrants who require biometric intake and interview services must travel to Honolulu. The cost of air transportation for Neighbor Island residents is in addition to the time off from work or school, and USCIS processing fees. Combined, these factors present a substantial burden on immigrants, their families—particularly for women and seniors.

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“The Hawaii Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association is very pleased that at long last, biometrics services have resumed to most of our Neighbor Islands,” said Asako Shimazu, chair of the American Immigration Lawyers Association Hawaii Chapter. “Requiring individuals to travel to Honolulu for biometrics appointments causes significant hardship to Hawai‘i’s many immigrants who do not live on O‘ahu. We hope the program will continue long past the six-month pilot timeframe. AILA appreciates that USCIS is addressing the needs of outer island residents. Moreover, this would not have been possible without the support of Sen. Hirono. We also appreciate that she has been instrumental in advancing causes that matter to Hawai‘i residents such as this one,”

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USCIS will also hold mobile biometrics collection on Maui and Kaua‘i for individuals who have received a biometrics appointment receipt on the following dates:

  • Maui: April 10 to 14, May 8 to 12, June 5 to 9, July 10 to 14, August 7 to 11, September 11 to 15
  • Kaua‘i: May 22 to 26, July 24 to 28, September 25 to 29

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