On March 27, 2019 my spouse and I have applied for H-1B EXTENSION (form I-129) with premium processing, and concurrently applied for H-4 EAD (forms I-539 + I-765). Since this was submitted after March 21. 2019, the new I-539 form had to be used and that requires biometrics to be done.
In general the order of things for forms I-539 + I-765 are:
(i) Submit forms I-539 + I-765
(ii) Recieve a reciept notice for I-539,
(iii) Recieve a reciept notice for I-765
(iv) Appointment notice for biometrics for I-539
(v) Once (iii) is recieved, the H-4 spouse can go ahead to get he biometrics done. I don’t think biometrics needs to be applied for separately, based on our lawyer’s best knowledge. If anyone has different information, please share.
(vi) I-539 is approved
(vii) I-765 is approved
Note : It is generally adviced for the employee’s spouse to NOT leave the US when I-539 is in process, i.e., between steps (i) and (vi). After I-539 is processed, it should be okay to leave the U.S. Of course the issue is in actually knowing if I-539 is approved. Relying on paper-mail, means there is a 4-5 day delay before you find out for sure.
March 27, 2019 : Mailed forms I-129, I-539 and I-765 via FedEx to Nebraska Service Center
March 28, 2019 : FedEx delivery confirmed [10 am CDT]
March 28, 2019 : Employer recieved reciept notice for I-129 via email [11 pm CDT]
April 01, 2019 : DHS cashed the cheques for I-539 and I-765 (appeared on employee’s bank records) [This is an indication that the I-129 has been approved]
April 02, 2019 : Employer recieved approval for I-129 via email [11 pm CDT]
April 04, 2019 : Employer recieved paper reciept notice for I-129 (dated March 28, postal stamp March 29)
April 04, 2019 : Spouse of employee recieves paper reciept notices for I-539 and I-765 (dated March 28, 2 separate stamped envelopes postal stamp April 1)
April 05, 2019 : Employer recieved paper approval for I-129 (dated April 1, postal stamp April 2)
April 05, 2019 : Spouse of employee recieved paper appointment notice for biometrics for I-539 (dated March 30, postal stamp April 2)
April 16, 2019 : (expected) Biometrics appointment for I-539
April 23, 2019 : (expected) Spouse of employee recieves paper approval for I-539
April 24, 2019 : (expected) Spouse of employee recieves paper approval for I-765
April 25, 2019 : (expected) Spouse of employee recieves EAD card in mail