USCIS has agreed to resume concurrent adjudication of H-4, L-2, and I-765 applications for spouses and minor children of H-1B and L-1 nonimmigrants when those applications are filed concurrently with the Form I-129. This policy change stems from a settlement agreement in the Edakunni v. Mayorkas class action lawsuit challenging H-4 and L-2 adjudication delays,
USCIS has indicated that it will bundle the adjudication of Forms I-539 (for H-4 and/or L-2 applicants) and I-765 (for H-4 and L-2 EAD applicants) only if these forms are concurrently filed with the Form I-129 of an H-1B or L-1 beneficiary. As an illustration of this new rule, when an EAD application is concurrently filed with an H-4 application and H-1B petition, then all benefits requests must be “bundled” and adjudicated together, as opposed to being adjudicated one after another. By extension, if the H-1B in this same example is filed with, or upgraded with premium processing, then the other concurrently filed applications must also be bundled and adjudicated together. This rule is expected to begin on January 25, 2023, and will be in effect for two years.
As background, plaintiffs in Edakunni filed a class action citing unlawful delays associated with the adjudication of their H-4, L-2, and H-4/L-2-associated EAD applications. The L-2 EAD delay was resolved in similar litigation, granting L-2 spouses work authorization incident to status.
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