As a result of a settlement agreement In the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in Edakunni v. Mayorkas, The government and plaintiffs have signed off on a settlement in which USCIS would agree to return to bundling the adjudication of I-539s and I-765s for H-4 and L-2 derivatives along with the underlying I-129 when these forms are filed together. If the forms are filed separately, USCIS will not bundle the adjudication.
These delays in H-4 and L-2 processing started due to the institution of the biometrics requirement in 2019 and the decision by USCIS to no longer process I-539s and I-765s concurrently with I-129s.
The settlement is great news for H-4 EAD cases. In 2019, the processing time jumped from a few months to over a year, which resulted in most H-4 EAD spouses losing jobs as they could not work without an EAD. Now that the H-4 EAD’s will be processed with H-1 approvals the processing times will be back to a few months or even 30 days if the H-1b is premium processed.