Washington, July 10 (Ajit USA) – Many dependent wives of Indian professionals working in the US on H-1B work visas have been affected by the backlogs that the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has been dealing with since 2020. Some spouses with dependent H-4 status are permitted to work in the United States and pursue their professions. However, they require authorised job authorisation documents (EAD).
According to reports, before the pandemic, holders of H-4 EAD had to present themselves for biometrics sessions to have their H-4 and H-4 EAD extension applications approved. However, as a result of COVID-19, the application service centres conducting these appointments had to close for four months between March 2020 and July 2020.
The report further states that the closure of application service centres and limited operating capacity resulted in a backlog of biometrics appointments, which impacted H-4 extension and H-4 EAD extension applications.
The US Department of Homeland Security temporarily reduced the automated extension interval of the EAD, which was formerly as much as 180 days, to as much as 360 days for qualifying applicants. This has aided certain Indian H-4 visa holders. As a result, removing the biometrics requirement for H-4 extension purposes has simplified the situation for certain candidates.
However, many Indian families living and working in the United States have experienced six-month delays in processing H-4 and H-4 EAD extension applications, resulting in job losses and the loss of medical health insurance, paid maternity leave benefits, and even driving licences.
Due to these job loss situations, many households’ earnings were cut in half. And given the economic situation and impending recession in 2020, this has produced tremendous difficulty for many Indian families in the United States, who are unable to meet their financial obligations.
Because of pandemic-related delays in processing the H-4 and H-4 EAD extension applications, many H-4 spouses have frequently experienced frustrating situations like losing their employment, being put on a leave of absence, or being unable to accept new job offers.
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