Despite immigration restrictionists’ efforts to derail implementation, a new rule went into effect allowing certain H-4 spouses (i.e., spouses of H-1B workers) to apply for work authorization.
By regulation, USCIS must either adjudicate EAD applications within a fixed time period or issue interim employment authorization. Yet, USCIS regularly fails to do either, leaving noncitizens in a precarious position, unable to work legally and at risk of losing their jobs, related benefits and, in some states, their driver’s licenses. Since 2013, AILA has repeatedly tried to address these delays with USCIS. Nonetheless, at a meeting with USCIS headquarters in April 2015, agency representatives indicated that “USCIS no longer produces interim EADs.” Faced with increasing reports from immigration lawyers of EAD adjudication delays, the Council and several partners filed this lawsuit against USCIS and DHS.