Lawmakers Urge DHS to Improve Processing Times for H-4/L-2 EADs

A group of twenty-three Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives have sent a letter to Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, urging him to take steps to reduce processing times for applications for employment authorization (form I-765) filed by H-4 and L-2 dependent spouses. The lawmakers note that most H-4 and L-2 spouses are highly educated persons, and that these delays in issuing employment authorization documents (EADs) is harming both the individual applicants and the U.S. economy as a whole.

Suggestions to Improve EAD Processing

These members of Congress provide two specific suggestions to address the H-4/L-2 EAD backlogs. First, they recommend, in cases where the principal’s H1B or L-1 petition is filed concurrently with the H-4/L-2 and EAD applications, that all the applications be adjudicated at the same time. As noted in the letter, this was standard practice by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) prior to the change by the Trump Administration.

The second recommendation is that the premium processing service be made available for H-4, L-2, and EAD applications. As the lawmakers note, the USCIS could charge up to $1,400 for each application, and this revenue could pay for the additional expense of having to expedite the processing of these cases.


We hope Secretary Mayorkas takes this letter seriously and quickly moves to implement both suggestions. It has a significant impact on families, U.S. employers, and the U. S. economy when H-4 and L-2 dependent spouses are forced to wait months simply for the privilege of being permitted to work.


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