On Wednesday, the Biden administration reached a settlement in a class-action lawsuit.
Thousands of undocumented workers’ spouses will no longer be required to seek for work permit in the United States.
On Wednesday, the Biden administration struck a settlement in a class-action lawsuit that will allow L-1 visa holders’ spouses to acquire an employment authorization document (EAD) without having to apply.
The government will also automatically extend the work licenses of spouses of H-1B visa holders for up to six months under the terms of the agreement.
Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, some spouses are eligible for H-4 and L-2 derivative work visas (INA). US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is obligated by law to complete these visa applications within 30 days, but a major processing backlog has resulted in months-long delays, resulting in the loss of jobs for many H-4 and L-2 spouses.
The coronavirus pandemic aggravated an already large visa processing backlog, which was exacerbated by a Trump-era policy forcing these spouses to have their fingerprints taken while renewing their work permits.
In March, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and lawyers from several other firms filed a federal class action lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to force USCIS to reverse the policy and provide automatic employment authorization extensions to L-2 and H-4 visa holders where regulations require it.