Effective January 25, 2023: The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has been directed by the Department of Homeland Security to adjudicate both Form I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, for H-4 and L-2 dependents and Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization, at the same time as the principal applicant’s petition when filed together.

Since March 2019, USCIS separated all applications that were filed together with the principal applicant. This led to extreme processing delays for spouses and children of foreign nationals that were employed in the United States. On January 19, 2023, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security reached a settlement in Edakunni v. Mayorkas, reverting to previous policies, where adjudication of concurrently and properly filed I-539 and I-765 applications will be processed together with the principal applicant. Those who file under premium processing may have their applications adjudicated within 15 calendar days.

Nashwa Azzam, Esq. | Partner – US Immigration Dept.