The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has entered into a settlement which provides beneficial changes to work authorization for H-4 and L-2 spouses. USCIS will issue a formal policy guidance to implement the following two changes.
First, USCIS will now recognize that certain H-4 holders who timely file their EAD renewal applications will qualify for an automatic extension of their EAD while waiting for the adjudication of their renewal application. This automatic renewal will last for up to 180 days after the expiration of the EAD. However, the automatic extension will not exceed the end date of the individuals H-4 status noticed on the Form I-94, and will also end once USCIS issues an approval or denial on the renewal application.
Second, L-2 spouses will be employment authorized incident to status, or in other words, as a condition of the L-2, the spouse will be employment authorized without a separate application. USCIS will work in cooperation with CBP (Customs and Border Patrol) to change the Form I-94 so that L-2 spouses can use the document for Form I-9 purposes.
As stated above, USCIS will be issuing formal guidance further detailing when and how these changes will be implemented. As always, MU will provide further updates as they become available.