If you’re an H-1B visa holder and want to work in the United States, there are other things needed to get your authorization. Generally, most H-1B spouses are in H-4 status, so they need H-4 EAD, which is short for employment authorization document. Although the process is quite simple for most, the amount of time people wait for their visa processing is a lot more than expected.
While it’s unfortunate that USCIS needs a lot of time to process applications and documents related, H-4 EAD premium processing can help you get this done much quicker. The H-4 EAD premium processing takes about two weeks. While this is faster than any other visa processing related to immigration, let alone just H-1B, we need to look at why the USCIS takes a lot of time to process documents.
The Trump administration made certain changes to the immigration process that extended the duration of the process to an extent where it takes the USCIS to complete everything. For example, starting from 2019, applicants for the H-4 extension must provide biometrics that adds up both gathering the documents on the applicant’s side and increasing the USCIS’ workload.
These add up to the time needed to process H-4 EAD and force the applicant to wait longer. The average time to process Forms I-539, which is the USCIS form that applicants fill out to apply for their H-4 extensions, has been increased to over three months. It was less than three months before these changes, and these are expected to ease out with the Biden administration as both administrations have different views on the issue.