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USCIS to Adjudicate Form I-539 and Form I-765 Concurrently with Form I-129 for H-4 & L-2 Applicants

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As a result of a settlement agreement reached in Edakunni v. Mayorkas, USCIS has agreed to  adjudicate H-4 and L-2 dependent applications concurrently with the main applicant’s H-1B or L-1 petition. In order to take advantage of this benefit, Form I-539 (Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status) and Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization)) must be filed concurrently with Form I-129 (Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker).

This change is effective January 25, 2023 and will apply to all H-4 and L-2 applicants who file their applications at the same time as the principal applicant, regardless of whether Form I-129 is filed under standard or premium processing. The changes will remain in effect for two years, until January 25, 2025.

Edakunni v. Mayorkas challenged the Trump Administration’s practice of processing the I-539s and I-765s for H-4 and L-2 applicants separately from the main applicants’ I-129 petitions. It is expected that these changes will result in faster processing times for H-4 and L-2 dependent applications.

Under the settlement, USCIS will now extend premium processing of a principal applicant’s I-129 to H-4 and L-2 dependent applications. USCIS anticipates an extension of premium processing to include form I-539s and I-765s through 2025.

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