US Congress passed Bill HR 8337 that added provisions to expand premium processing for H4 Visa and H4 EAD. The below article tracks the latest updates on the same with timeline of events, current status.
Current Status on H4, H4 EAD Premium Processing
Below is summary of the latest status of H4 and H4 EAD premium processing as of Jan 5th, 2021.
- US Congress has passed the Bill HR 8337 that adds provisions for H4 visa extensions, COS and H4 EAD.
- The bill was also signed into law by president on Oct 1, 2020. It is called public law 116 – 159
- USCIS is yet to take up the signed law and publish the regulation on the same.
- Next step is for USCIS to publish regulation/rule to implement premium processing for H4 and H4 EAD on federal register.
- USCIS need to seek public comments as per rule-making process and then implement the same. It has to go through 9 Steps of US Federal Rule making process.
Timeline, Latest News Updates on H4, H4 EAD Premium Processing
Below is the timeline of events, official news updates, and latest actions on H4 and H4 EAD premium processing topic.
- January 5th 2020 : There is no update since October of 2020. It is not a priority for Trump adminstration to take it up, we need to wait and see, if Biden administration will take it up. It has to go through regulatory process.
- October 16th, 2020 : USCIS released a press note indicating that they are increasing the Premium processing fee for H1B to $2,500 based on the Public Law 116 -159. Also, they said that they will expand premium processing for additional forms and USCIS has not yet taken any action. Check Official Press Release by USCIS On Premium Processing
- October 1st, 2020 : The Bill HR 8337 was signed into law by president Trump. It is called as Public Law 116 – 159
- Sep 30th, 2020 : The Bill HR 8337 was passed in Senate
- Sep 22nd, 2020 : The Bill HR 8337 was introduced and passed in House. The Bill has many other provisions in addition to H4 and H4 EAD processing. You can read complete details at USCIS Premium Processing for H4, L2, EAD
Summary of H4 Visa, H4 EAD Premium Processing Bill
As per the Bill HR 8337, that was signed into law by president Trump, below are the complete details that are related to H4 Visa and H4 EAD premium processing.
- Premium Processing for H4 COS, Extensions:
- USCIS will provide option for H1B visa holder dependents, who are H4 Visa holders, to file Extensions and Change of Status (COS) applications that are typically filed using Form I-539 in Premium processing. This provision will be effective after USCIS completes the regulatory process.
- The fee for H4 COS, extensions cannot exceed $1,750 USD as per Congress.
- The premium processing time for H4 COS, extensions cannot exceed 30 days
- Premium processing clock for H4 extensions and COS will start only after the pre-requisites are met. Meaning it will start only after biometrics, fee, required documents are provided to USCIS and they believe the pre-requisites are met and application is complete. The premium processing clock would only commence after the H4 Biometrics are given at ASC
- Premium Processing for H4 EAD:
- USCIS will also provide premium processing option for H4 EAD applicants. Again, this provision will be effective only after USCIS completes the regulatory process.
- The fee for H4 EAD cannot exceed $1,500 USD as per Congress
- The premium processing time for H4 EAD application cannot exceed 30 days.
- The premium processing clock, when someone Applies for H4 EAD would only start after the pre-requisites are met for the application. It is not clear at the moment, what these pre-requisites would be, we would know once the regulation is published by USCIS.
Frequently Asked Questions
There is no estimated date on when premium processing would start for H4 and H4 EAD applications. USCIS has to first issue the proposed regulation and then accept comments from public. Only after that we would know when it could start. As of now, there are not dates given by USCIS.
The official rule/ regulation is not published in federal register yet. As of now, the Bill that has H4 and H4 EAD premium processing provision is passed in Congress and signed by President. USCIS is yet to implement the final rule, they are yet to start the regulatory process for the same.
The H4 Premium processing rule is not yet published in federal register and not effective yet. Even if published, we do not know, if there would be premium processing option for Biometrics. There is nothing in the Congress passed Bill that tells that there would be premium processing for H4 Biometrics alone. The premium processing provision is included for H4 COS & extension and the processing time clock starts after the pre-requisites like Biometrics are given. We need to wait and see, what USCIS states in the final regulation.
As per Congress passed Bill, it cannot exceed $1,500 USD. We will only the final fee after the final regulation is published in federal register.
As per Congress passed Bill, H4 application premium processing fee cannot exceed $1,750 USD. We would know the actual fee after the final regulation is published in federal register