Senior officials in Hawaii have announced that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will conduct a six month mobile biometrics pilot program for immigration benefits on Hawaii Island, Kauai, and Maui 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 Senator Mazie K. Hirono.
In June 2016 Senator 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 Senator Hirono announced in January.
Currently, immigrants who require biometric intake and interview services must travel to Honolulu. The cost factor 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, and particularly for women and seniors.
“The Hawaii Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is very pleased that at long last, biometrics services have resumed to most of our neighbor islands,” said Asako Shimazu, Chair, American Immigration Lawyers Association Hawaii Chapter.
“Requiring individuals to travel to Honolulu for biometrics appointments causes significant hardship to Hawaii’s many immigrants who do not live on Oahu.”
“We hope the program will continue long past the 6 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 Senator Hirono. We also appreciate that she has been instrumental in advancing causes that matter to Hawaii residents such as this one.”
(Learn how the government and technology come together for the State of Hawaii, as it leads the charge to go paperless in the Aloha State and bring services faster to its citizens. Courtesy of Adobe Document Cloud and YouTube)
- Maui: April 10-14, May 8-12, June 5-9, July 10-14, August 7-11, September 11-15
- Hawaii Island: April 24-28 (Kailua-Kona), May 15-19 (Hilo), June 19-23 (Kailua-Kona), July 17-21 (Hilo), August 21-25 (Kailua-Kona), September 18-22 (Hilo)
- Kauai: May 22-26, July 24-28, September 25-29