U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently reached a major settlement agreement that provides significant changes to employment authorization benefits for H-4, E, and L dependent spouses.
A lawsuit (Shergill, et al v. Mayorkas) was filed against USCIS to address the extreme processing delays of Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) for H-4 and L-2 dependent spouses who suffered from lapses in employment authorization due to USCIS backlogs.
Pursuant to regulations at 8 CFR 274a.13(d), employment authorization can be automatically extended under certain circumstances. Under the settlement agreement, USCIS has updated its interpretation of this provision to provide an automatic extension of employment authorization to certain H-4, E, and L dependent spouses.
Effective November 12, 2021, USCIS policy guidance outlines the following employment authorization benefits for certain H-4, E, and L dependent spouses:
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