The H4 EAD premium processing is not yet available even though the bill was passed in Congress (2020).
US Congress passed Bill HR 8337 which added provisions to expand premium processing for H4 Visa and H4 EAD.
We share with you latest news updates on:
- Benefit Categories. The following benefit categories will be eligible for premium processing under the new rule.
- Form I-140 for EB-1 multinational executive or manager and EB-2 advanced degree or exceptional ability seeking national interest waiver (NIW). The premium processing fee for this category will be $2,500; the processing time frame will be 45 days.
- Form I-539 change of status to F-1, F-2, J-1, J-2, M-1, or M-2 NIV status, or change of status to or extension of stay in E-1, E-2, E-3, H-4, L-2, O-3, P-4, R-2 NIV status. The fee for this category will be $1,750; the processing time frame will be 30 days.
- Form I-765 Employment Authorization Document (EAD) application. The fee will be $1,500; the processing time frame will be 30 days.
- Implementation. The regulation is expected to take effect on May 31, but USCIS will gradually phase in the service for the new request types. USCIS plans to expand premium processing to the two I-140 classifications and certain Form I-539 and I-765 categories this fiscal year. The agency estimates it will not be able to expand to the additional Form I-539 and I-765 categories until FY 2025. USCIS will post announcements on its website about the availability of premium processing as it becomes available for newly designated immigration benefit requests.
- Publication. The rule is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register tomorrow, March 30. A pre-publication version is available here.
Current Status on H4 Visa, H4 EAD Premium Processing
Below is a summary of the latest status of H4 Visa (Form I-539) and H4 EAD(Form I-765) premium processing as of March 30th, 2022.
- US Congress passed Bill HR 8337 which added provisions for H4 visa extensions, change of status(COS) that use form I-539, and H4 EAD that use form I-765.
- The bill was signed into law by president on Oct 1, 2020. It is called public law 116 – 159
- Since the Biden administration took office, they have not acted on implementing this for a long time. It was with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for a long time until February 2022.
- After a long wait, finally, on March 30th, 2022, DHS published the Regulation to implement Premium Processing for H4 Visa (extension and change of status)and H4 EAD.
- As per the regulation published in Federal Register, DHS Plans to implement H4 and H4 EAD premium processing by FY 2025. See the below timeline for additional details.
Timeline, Latest News Updates on H4 and H4 EAD Premium Processing
Below is the timeline of events, official news updates, and the latest actions on the H4 Visa and H4 EAD premium processing topic.
March 30th, 2022: DHS published the final rule to implement the Premium Processing for H4, H4 EAD, and many others in Federal Register. Below is the summary :
- USCIS H4 Premium Processing
- The premium processing fee for H4 visa extensions and change of status(COS) using form I-539 form is going to be $1,750
- The premium processing time for H4 visa using Form I-539 will be 30 Days
- USCIS H4 EAD Premium Processing
- The premium processing fee for H4 EAD using form I-765 form is going to be $1,500
- The premium processing time for H4 EAD using Form I-765 is going to be 30 Days
- See the below screenshot for both H4 and H4 EAD premium processing details.
Until the fiscal year 2025 which starts on Oct 1, 2024, the only viable option would be filing the mandamus lawsuits to make USCIS work for timely approving EADs. Basically, the outdated immigration system is forcing you to spend the money either by paying a premium fee or paying lawyers for filing court cases.
H4 EAD premium processing Bill
The Senate had passed the HR 8337 bill which adds Premium Processing service for H4 and L2 extensions including H4 EAD and L2 EAD applications.
This is a welcome step and will provide relief to many who are otherwise at the mercy of the USCIS officers to approve their EAD expedite request.
You can now just pay the money instead of begging for timely approval of your EAD.
Premium processing will now be available for:
- i539, i-765 (EAD) – Employment-based primary and their dependents like H1B and L1 dependents.
- All EB1, EB2, and EB3 i-140 including EB-1C multinational executives and managers, and EB-2 national interest waivers can now get the result faster by paying a premium fee.
- Change of status applications like F1 to H4 or vice versa, H1B to H4 COS, and other such combinations will have premium processing service.
The new H1B and L1 premium fee will be $2500.
The fee will vary from $1500 to $2500 for other types of applications.
Biometric Appointment in Premium Processing Cases?
The clever part is that the premium processing timeline will not start until all the prerequisite steps for approving an application are completed.
- H4 and L2 extension’s premium processing timer will not start until the primary’s H1B or L1 extension has been approved.
- Similarly, the biometric appointment will also be a major hurdle in the H4/L2 extension’s premium timeline.
USCIS should share more details on how the premium processing will work for H4, L2, and F extension cases when the biometric is an important step in the middle.
Pay one Premium fee for H1B, H4, EAD by filing together?
It is not clear if USCIS will allow one single premium processing fee together for primary and dependent applications.
It would be great if they can give a bundle price for premium processing of all three applications together like H1B + H4 + H4 EAD.
Back in the pre-biometric days, USCIS used to show big heart and approve H4 and H4 EAD along with H1B premium as a goodwill gesture.
We will update here if new information is made available for this.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is planned to be implemented by FY 2025. There is no concrete date given yet. It will be part of future phases of rollout of premium processing for forms I-539 and I-765
The final regulation in federal register is effective from May 31st, 2022. But, implementation of the same is going to be by FY 2025.
No, not possible at the moment. There is no mention of Biometrics in the regulation, there are some waivers for Biometrics for some time, after that we do not know.
It is set to be $1,500 USD as per regulation.
It is set to be $1,750 USD as per regulation.
USCIS should announce the date of the premium processing service start for the new types of applications soon.
The bill has just passed Senate on Sep 30, 2020. We expect the announcement to be made in 7-10 days after the president signs it.
The maximum fee and processing time for EB-1C (multinational executives and managers) would be $2500 and 45 days respectively.
The change of status to F, J, and M fees will be a maximum of $1750 and will be processed within 30 days.
The extension or change of status to E, H, L, O, P, or R, will carry a cost of $1750 and the processing should be completed within 30 days.
You should be able to upgrade your existing pending H4 and H4 EAD applications to premium once the USCIS starts accepting them.