In the recent legal settlement of Edakunni v. Mayorkas, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has agreed to resume adjudicating H-4 and L-2 dependent and H-4 employment authorization petitions at the same time as the principal (spouse or parent) H-1B or L-1 petition when properly filed together.
This change, effective January 25, 2023, will apply to cases filed both standard and premium processing. “Bundling” principal and dependent applications for H and L nonimmigrants is a welcome return to the status quo that existed prior to March 2019.
In March 2019, USCIS enacted changed filing requirements, which led to separate H-1B and H4/L-1 and L-2 processing and long delays for L-2 and H-4 spouses and children seeking to extend their status and/or obtain or extend work authorization. The settlement is valid for two years.
USCIS’ return to bundled processing is a long-awaited change that will result in more timely and uniform adjudications for the many H-4 and L-2 family members in the United States.