Per Settlement Agreement, USCIS to Again Process Derivative I-539s along with Primary Petitions

Under a Settlement Agreement in Edakunni v. Mayorkas¸ US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has agreed to once again process I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status Application filed for derivative spouses and children simultaneously with an I-129 Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker petitions for principal beneficiaries when they case are filed together.

This settlement reverses a policy change from the prior administration which separated these applications, which could then take far, far longer for approval when adjudicated separately.  These I-539s had previously been adjudicated along with the principal’s I-129, even when the I-129 was filed with premium processing – something unavailable to I-539 applications at that time.

That change in policy caused significant travel problems for derivatives waiting for approval of the I-539s, and in the case of H-4s working under H-4 EADs would often cause gaps in employment authorization inconveniencing both the individuals and their US employers.