Skip to Content

USCIS Settlement Reverses Policy Prohibiting H-4 Spouses Automatic Work Extension and Provides Automatic Work Authorization for


Relief has come for nonimmigrant H-4 and L-2 spouses suffering from long delayed processing times for employment authorization. Spouses in H-4 status always met the regulatory test for automatic extension of EADs, but USCIS previously prohibited them from that benefit and forced them to wait for reauthorization. Now, H4 spouses, who continue to have H4 status, are eligible for automatic extension of their employment for up to 180 days while their timely filed employment applications are pending. In addition, L-2 spouses will now enjoy work authorization incident to their status and will also be eligible for the 180-day work authorization with a timely filed L2 extension application.

USCIS will issue policy guidelines to implement the changes within 120 days of the settlement.

Akula & Associates will continue to monitor this issue. Please visit our website at or call our office at 972-241-4695. Follow us on Facebook at Akula & Associates and on Instagram at akulalaw.