Q&A on New H-4 EAD and L-2 EAD Regulations

By November 17, 2021 News

  1. I have a valid L-2- I-94. Do I need to apply for L-2 (EAD) in order to work in the US?

In response to a class-action lawsuit filed by various H-4 & L-2 individuals in the Western District of Washington, USCIS has entered into a settlement agreement (dated November 10, 2021). Based on this settlement agreement, USCIS will issue a formal notification allowing persons with valid L-2 (I-94) to work (during the validity of his/her I-94) without the need for EAD. So, once we receive the notification from USCIS in the next few days, L-2 visa holders will no longer be required to apply for EAD.

  1. My L-2 (I-94) has expired. I have filed for an L-2 extension. Can I continue working based on the settlement agreement dated November 10, 2021?

No, the settlement agreement dated November 10, 2021, applies only to those individuals who have a valid I-94. It does not allow a person to work once the person’s I-94 expires. So, you would need to wait until your L-2 extension is approved.

  1. When does a person qualify for an automatic extension of his H-4 (EAD) (up to 180 days maximum)?

In order to qualify for an automatic extension of H-4 (EAD), the person (a) must have a valid H-4  (I-94) and (b) should have properly filed for an H-4 (EAD) extension before his/her current EAD expires.

Further, the duration of this automatic extension will continue only until whichever comes first:

  • The end date on Form I-94 with valid H-4 status;
  • The approval or denial of the EAD renewal application; or
  • 180 days from the “Card Expires” date on the face of the existing EAD.
  1. My H-4 and H-4 (EAD) will be expiring on December 01, 2021. I have timely filed for an extension of my H-4 & H-4 (EAD). Will I be able to use the 180-day automatic H-4 (EAD) extension rule?

No, to qualify for the automatic 180-day H-4 (EAD) extension rule; you must have a valid I-94. Since, your I-94 will be expiring on December 01, 2021, you may not benefit from this rule until your H-4 extension is approved.

  1. My H-4 and H-4 (EAD) have expired on October 01, 2021. I have timely filed for an extension of my H-4 & H-4 (EAD). Today I received my H-4 approval. But, my H-4 (EAD) is still pending with USCIS. Will I be able to use the 180-day automatic H-4 (EAD) extension rule?

Yes, but not for the full 180 day period. Since you have a valid I-94 now, you would be eligible to work from now until 180 days from the date your H-4 (EAD) has expired i.e. 180 days from October 01, 2021 (approx. until March 29th, 2022).

  1. My H-4 (EAD) will be expiring on December 01, 2021. But, my H-4 I-94 is expiring On February 27th, 2022. I have timely filed for an extension of my H-4 & H-4 (EAD). Will I be able to use the 180-day automatic H-4 (EAD) extension rule?                                     

Yes, but not for the full 180 day period. Since you are authorized to work only until the validity of your H-4 I-94; you would be authorized to work only until February 27th, 2022.

  1. When using the automatic 180-day H-4 (EAD) extension, what documentation does my employer need for I-9 purposes?

For I-9 purposes, you will need to submit the following documents to your employer:

  • Document to prove that you have a valid I-94
  • Copy of the expired H-4 (EAD) card
  • Copy of timely filed H-4 (EAD) extension receipt notice

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