April 11, 2017

Hirono Announces Six-Month Program for Mobile Biometrics Services on Neighbor Islands

Follows Successful Maui Pilot Program Conducted at Hirono’s Request

Senator Mazie K. Hirono 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 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.  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,” said Asako Shimazu, Chair, American Immigration Lawyers Association Hawaii Chapter.

USCIS will hold mobile biometrics collection for individuals who have received a biometrics appointment receipt on the following dates:

  • 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