Premium Processing Eliminated for Work Visa Dependent Family Applications
In March 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)implemented revisions to work visa family member applications (including H-4 and L-2 dependents) to require biometrics fees and appointments for each family member regardless of age. Biometrics are generally completed about a month after filing and therefore are not completed within a 15-day premium processing timeline. As a result, USCIS announced that it will no longer provide premium processing service to dependent family applications submitted with primary worker petitions. We estimate that dependent family application and accompanying H-4 or L-2 employment authorization application processing will likely take six months. Applicants should assess potential gaps in work authorization during processing.