USCIS Processing Delays for H-4/L-2 Applications

Posted on Apr 19, 2024 by Chris Prescott

In January we reported that USCIS had agreed to this as part of a major settlement. If you file the applications together, they will adjudicate H-4, H-4 EADs, and L-2 with the I-129 (H-1B or L-1).

Despite the agreement under the Edakunni settlement, the H-4/L-2 are not always processed in tandem with the principal Form I-129, resulting in pending applications.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is monitoring this situation closely and has found that most delayed H-4 and L-2 applications are processed within three days to two weeks of the principal beneficiary’s approval.

If more than two weeks have passed since the principal beneficiary’s approval without resolution, you should submit an H-4 or L-2 processing delay inquiry through the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Contact Center.  USCIS has advised that when you or your representative contact the USCIS Contact Center, be sure to mention the Edakunni settlement and the delays with concurrently filed H-4/L-2 Forms I-539 and/or I-765.

For situations where Form I-129 was filed with premium processing, USCIS directs inquiries to the USCIS Contact Center, not the premium processing unit.  Please note that the premium processing time frame is now 15 business days and is no longer 15 calendar days.  

Consider the following points when bundling H-1B/L-1 applications with H-4/L-2 applications:
  • USCIS will only bundle the processing of Form I-539 and Form I-765 (when applicable) for H-4 and L-2 dependents only if they are submitted along with the principal Form I-129 in the same package, at the same time, and to the same location.  Meaning all forms, checks etc. should be placed in one envelope/package.
  • L-2 dependents can apply for a work authorization and are entitled to have their I-765 processed along with the I-539 if bundled with the I-129 petition, however L-2 dependents are authorized to work incident to status, meaning they can work even if they don’t apply for work authorization.
  • Bundling applies irrespective of whether the I-129 is filed in regular or premium processing.
  • Bundling only applies if the principal applicant and derivatives forms are filed concurrently.  If the principal applicant applies for an H-1B extension in premium and the H-4 applicant applies shortly after, even by a few days USCIS is under no obligation to adjudicate the H-4 at the same time as the H-1B.  Therefore, applicants are advised to file together wherever possible.

If you have questions regarding the above please contact PLG Partner Chris Prescott at