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Current USCIS H4 EAD Processing Time

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If you are a citizen of a foreign country and your spouse is in the United States on an H-1B employment visa, you may be eligible to submit a visa application that will allow you to live in the US. This visa is called the H4 Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Under certain circumstances, an H4 visa may allow you to work while your spouse pursues permanent residency. 

However, getting an H4 can be a complex process. Often, you may be feeling the pain of long processing times. The good news is that USCIS has just released an updated H4 EAD processing time.

Key Takeaways:

  • The H4 EAD processing time varies depending on several factors, and each USCIS service center has different time statistics.
  • Delays in the processing of H4 visas are common, but there are things you can do to avoid them.
  • Hiring an immigration lawyer can help when dealing with your immigration status.


Processing Times of H4 Visa

The H4 is a type of visa for individuals migrating to the US and are the immediate members of H1-B visa holders. This visa can lead to work authorization for H-4 visa holders. This allows them to pursue opportunities in the US and take advantage of the services of residing in this country.

In addition to that, the H-4 visa allows spouses and dependents of H1-B workers to take part in life in America fully. Whether they want to pursue a career, study, or enjoy all the fantastic country offers, H4 holders have all the tools they need at their disposal.

However, those who have gone through the application know that it can be a long and frustrating one. Delays are all too common, particularly when it comes to processing times for the H4.

The H4 EAD processing time can vary depending on some factors. Every USCIS service center has different time statistics.

For instance, the USCIS California Service Center differs from the USCIS Vermont. This service center takes more months to process H4 visas. In terms of the automatic extension, USCIS Texas Service Center has shorter times at 5 to 7 months.

In general, you can expect the entire process to take anywhere from 2 months to 12 months. Despite these potential delays, applying for this visa is still worthwhile for many who love to live in the US.

Causes of H4 Visa Delay

Since 2015, when the Obama administration announced that certain spouses of H1-B visa holders would be eligible for an H-4, applicants have been patiently waiting to come to the United States and to receive permission to work.

Unfortunately, the entire process has not gone as smoothly as hoped. Many people are still waiting months, leaving them in limbo while losing jobs.

Here are the eight common causes of the delay in the approval of H4:

  1. Complex application requirements. All supporting documents must be in order before applying for the H4. Any missing evidence can lead to a delay in you receiving employment authorization.
  2. A high volume of applications. There has been a greater increase in people applying for H4 visas, putting a strain on the system. As a result, many people trying to obtain H4 visas face significant delays.
  3. Processing backlogs. Occasionally, USCIS approvals take longer and may make errors while processing H4 visas. That's why applicants should check their status to ensure no processing errors.
  4. Incomplete application. All required fields in the application must be filled out correctly. Incomplete applications will be sent back to the applicant, causing a delay in the H4 process.
  5. Extensive and rigorous vetting process. This may involve embassy interviews and criminal background checks that can add time to the application timeline.
  6. Insufficient evidence. To qualify for an H4, applicants must prove that they will be able to support themselves financially while in the United States. This can be difficult, especially for an H4 applicant who does not have a job.
  7. The applicant's home country is not part of the Visa Waiver Program. If an applicant is not part of the program in a country, such information is required. Generally, they will need to get a visa before entering the United States.
  8. Unexpected changes in US immigration policy.

Regardless of the cause, the processing delays often lead to frustration and stress for those waiting on their request. Additionally, this worries employers who depend on their contributions to the workplace. But despite these challenges, many H4 holders immigrate to the US each year.

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How to Avoid Delays

Delays in a filed visa or H4 EAD application are a common concern.

In order to help prevent pending and ensure the timely processing of your H4, there are several ways that you can take.

  • Respond promptly to emails or calls from USCIS staff. By staying organized and communicating, you can reduce your chances of experiencing frustration. Besides that, following all the rules and guidelines for h4 visas can reduce the delays in getting your visa approved.
  • Gather all the necessary documentation upfront. To ensure that your H4 application is processed on time, it's best to gather all along beforehand. This will ensure that any potential issues or delays can be addressed and won't hold up the overall process.
  • Double-check before you submit. You should provide accurate information on your form or during your interview. And ensure that you submit all required ones well before their deadlines.
  • Seek guidance from an experienced immigration attorney. Suppose you are experiencing a delay in your H-4 visa application. In that case, it's essential to contact law firms who can help you understand the delays. Then, take steps to resolve the issue. With their help, you can rest assured that your application will be processed quickly and efficiently.

Read this blog on how to find an experienced St. Louis, MO, Visa Lawyer.

  • Be patient. Sometimes there may be unexpected delays or issues with paperwork or approvals. However, you can help minimize any potential problems when you file by staying calm. Plus, applicants can check the USCIS website for updates and read your receipt notice.
  • Seek another visa alternative while waiting for H4. If your H-4 visa is still delayed, you can get a visitor visa temporarily. The Biden administration has a positive stance on letting the dependents work in the US. This is even if they are not affiliated with a government agency.

A visitor visa is an important document that allows travelers from certain countries to enter. Also, stay in other countries for a limited period. Such visas are typically granted to business people and tourists who plan to engage in sightseeing or meetings. 

In order to qualify for a visitor visa, you must provide the relevant authorities with all the necessary information. This includes your reason for traveling and any legal or criminal history that could affect your eligibility. You might be able to enjoy a new life in the United States while waiting for your H-4 visa with the proper preparation.

In 2019, the Trump administration set a new biometrics requirement for H-4. Doing these things can help you avoid delays or rejections with your application.

Contact Hacking Immigration Law, LLC Today

Have you started the process of applying for your H4? If not, now is the time!

We know how uneasy and overwhelming it can be when dealing with your immigration status. But don't worry – our highly educated and experienced team would be more than happy to help you out.

If you have any questions about an H4 or employment-based green card process or other citizenship and immigration services, please do not hesitate to email us at [email protected]. Keep in touch with our team of experts today. And let us help guide you through every step of the application process.

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