Delay in Processing of H4/EADs Filed with H-1Bs via Premium Processing

The Nebraska Service Center of USCIS has announced that there will be delays in processing Form I-539s requesting an extension of H-4 status and I-765s requesting the employment authorization document (EAD) filed concurrently with the H-1B spouse’s extension petition through premium processing. The NSC has been overwhelmed with premium processing (I-907) requests for H-1Bs (and attendant I-539s for extensions) because of the announcement of USCIS several weeks ago that it was suspending premium processing for all H-1Bs as of April 3, 2017. USCIS claims that it is taking such action to reduce its enormous backlog in pending H-1B petitions that were filed traditionally. My office has noticed that traditional H-1B petitions can take more than one year.