USCIS Restructures Adjudication Policies for H-4 & L-2 Dependents

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Recently, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has reached a settlement in Edakunni v. Mayorkas that will change how applications for dependent status (H-4 and L-2) and employment authorization documents (EADs) are processed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This is a significant change and can make a great deal of a difference for dependents looking to gain work authorization here in the United States. Please continue reading and reach out to our seasoned New York immigration law firm to learn more about the recent settlement and what it may mean for you.

What is the purpose of the settlement & how does it impact H-4 & L-2 dependents?

The settlement means that these applications will now be reviewed at the same time as the principal’s H-1B or L-1 petition, rather than separately, as has been the case since March 2019. Prior to March 2019, these documents were reviewed concurrently, which expedited wait times for dependents (spouses and children of foreign nationals employed in the United States) who were also seeking work authorization here in the United States. Now, the settlement brings us back to where we were prior to March 2019.

This change is expected to reduce processing times for these applications to as few as 15 days with premium processing. The settlement agreement is valid for two years and applies to applications that are properly filed and submitted together with the primary application.

What should I do if I am a dependent looking to work in the United States?

If you are a dependent of a foreign national employed in the U.S. and you are seeking work authorization as well, you should strongly consider speaking with a seasoned immigration attorney who can help walk you through the process and get you the expedited processing you need.

We understand that time is of the essence when it comes to getting work authorization in the U.S., and we can help you properly submit all relevant documentation timely and correctly.

If you’d like to learn more about the recent settlement and what it may mean for you, simply pick up the phone and give us a call or contact us online today.