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Client Alert: Major Settlement Changes How USCIS Adjudicates Work Permits for Nonimmigrant Spouses


The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has reached a settlement agreement in Shergill, et al. v. Mayorkas, thanks to AILA and its litigation partners. The settlement provides structural changes for nonimmigrant H-4 and L-2 spouses suffering from long-delayed processing times for employment authorization applications.

The litigation successfully reversed the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) policy that prohibited H-4 spouses from benefiting from an automatic extension of their employment authorization beyond the expiration of their Employment Authorization Document (EAD). For those spouses whose H-4 status extends beyond their current EAD, filing a renewal of the EAD will automatically extend work authorization. The automatic extension ends when the I-94 reflecting H-4 status expires, the EAD is approved/denied, or 180 days have passed from the EAD expiration date. This means spouses of long-delayed green card applicants granted employment authorization in H-4 status will be able to continue their careers without the disruption caused by USCIS processing delays.

Also as a result of this settlement, USCIS will now recognize that L-2 spouses are employment authorized incident to L-2 status. This means spouses of transferred executives and managers will no longer have to apply for employment authorization prior to working or starting a business in the United States.

Please contact your Klasko Law attorney with any questions on this new development.

The material contained in this alert does not constitute direct legal advice and is for informational purposes only.  An attorney-client relationship is not presumed or intended by receipt or review of this presentation.  The information provided should never replace informed counsel when specific immigration-related guidance is needed.

© 2021 Klasko Immigration Law Partners, LLP.  All rights reserved. Information may not be reproduced, displayed, modified, or distributed without the express prior written permission of Klasko Immigration Law Partners, LLP.  For permission, contact

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