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H4 Visa, H4 EAD Premium Processing Latest News

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 June 22nd, 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
  • Biden Administration published Spring 2021 Regulatory Agenda with Premium Processing adjustment as an item with a target final date of Sep 2021. So, we may see some activity by Sep 2021 for H4 and H4 EAD premium Processing.

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.

  • June 11th, 2021 : Biden Administration released Spring 2021 Regulatory Agenda and the premium processing adjustment that includes H4 & H4 EAD premium processing was part of that. It is planned to be implemented with a final action date of September 2021. We could see some activity on this before Sep 2021. Below is the screenshot from Regulatory Agenda that talks about premium processing. Check Regulatory Agenda Item on Reginfo.Gov
Unified Regulatory Agenda - Spring 2021 Premium Processing
Unified Regulatory Agenda – Spring 2021 Premium Processing
  • May 31st, 2021 : There is no update since October of 2020. It seems like not a priority for newly elected Biden adminstration to take it up. It has to go through the standard 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

When will H4 EAD premium Processing Start? How about H4?

As per the Spring 2021 Regulatory Agenda that was published in June 2021, the premium processing adjustment has a target date of September 2021. We could see some activity for H4 and H4 EAD premium processing by Sep 2021. We are yet to see the rule details and USCIS Plans on how they will implement it.

What is effective Date for H4, H4 EAD premium Processing Rule?

The official rule/ regulation agenda item is published in federal register with a target date for September 2021. But, so far there are no additional details on the rule published and how it would be implemented. USCIS is yet to publish the official regulation document for H4 and H4 EAD premium processing rule. We only have the regulatory agenda item for now.

Can I do H4 Premium Processing for Biometrics?

The H4 Premium processing rule details are not yet published in the federal register and not effective yet. Even if published, we do not know, if there would be premium processing option for Biometrics. As per Congress, 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 document that would be published for premium processing of H4 and H4 EAD.

What is H4 EAD Premium Processing Fee ?

As per Congress passed Bill, it cannot exceed $1,500 USD. We will only the final fee after the final regulation is published in the federal register.  

What is H4 Extension/ COS Premium Processing Fee ?

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

   

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9 Comments

  1. As Sep’21 approaching soon is there any update on Premium processing for H4, (I-539) H4EAD(I-765). what time line we can expect to use premium processing option?

    Reply
    • I don’t see anything anywhere. Any luck on your side? I fear my wife is going to lose her job since EAD expires end of October

      Reply
  2. https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaViewRule?pubId=202104&RIN=1615-AC73

    Looks like it is in final rule stage and date says Sep 2021 for release

    is this correct?

    Reply
    • A,
      We need to wait. It is not a priority for Trump Administration. Once Biden’ administration takes office, they make take it up. It may take few months at least.

      Reply

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