In a recent stakeholder message, a copy of which can be found here, USCIS has confirmed that the COVID-19 pandemic will cause delays in data entry and notice generation for CAP cases. Even though cases could be filed starting April 1, 2020, USCIS does not expect to be able to get notices out for cases filed until May 1, 2020. Cases will still retain their original receipt date for petitions that have time sensitive issues and USCIS notes that they are mindful of these time sensitive cases. However, USCIS still expects this to cause a delay in adjudication of CAP cases this year. USCIS will not extend the original filing window in the registration notice and there is no new update on when premium processing will be reinstated. As more updates become available we will share with our clients.
On February 20, 2019, USCIS again submitted to The Office of Management and Budget their proposal for "Removing H-4 Dependent Spouses from the Class of Aliens Eligible for Employment Authorization." This rule proposal was also published in the Fall 2018, Spring 2018 and Fall 2017 reports. The current administration has been maligning the H4 EAD program for that long. The final rule has not been published yet and will need to go through a public comment period. As the process develops we will update our clients. In case USCIS is actually serious this time, we recommend that any current employees on H4 EAD be included in this year's H1b cap filings in order to minimize any potential gaps in their ability to work. If you have specific questions, please contact your HLG attorney.