Nonimmigrant Employment Authorization for E & L Spouses

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Since late last year, the Department of Homeland Security, through its subsidiary groups, i.e. the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and Customs and Border Protection, has been updating guidance to clarify who the agencies will consider employment authorized E and L spouses based on their valid E or L nonimmigrant status. They have done this by adding new Class of Admission (COA) codes to distinguish between E and L spouses and children. If you would like more information on what this announcement means for the eligible groups and how our award-winning firm can assist you, please contact a lawyer experienced in work visas today.

Who qualifies under this updated guidance on nonimmigrant spouse employment authorization?

The USCIS is updating guidance in their Policy Manual to address the documentation that certain E and L nonimmigrant spouses may use as evidence of employment authorization based on their nonimmigrant status. The USCIS and CBP mailed notices in early April 2022 to eligible E and L spouses, age 21 or over, who have an unexpired Form I-94 that the USCIS issued before January 30, 2022. All that eligible spouses need to do in order to satisfy Form I-9, List C, #7, is possess this notice and have an unexpired Form I-94 reflecting the following nonimmigrant status:

  • E-1 – Treaty Trader Visa
  • E-2 – Investor Visa
  • E-3 – Specialty Occupation Workers from Australia
  • E-3D – Dependents of Specialty Occupation Workers from Australia
  • E-3R – Returning Speciality Occupation Workers from Australia
  • L-2 – Dependents of L-1 Intracompany Transfer Visa Holders

What should you do if you did not receive a notice about the updated guidance on nonimmigrant spouse employment authorization?

You should keep in mind that not all spouses of principal E nonimmigrants are considered employment authorized incident to status. The USCIS will only send notices to individuals identified as qualifying spouses based on a Form I-539 approved by the agency. Individuals who received their Form I-94 from the United States Customs and Border Protection should visit the CBP’s website.

If you are an employee who is an E or L spouse, employment authorized based on your status and under the age of 21, or did not receive the notice by April 30, 2022, you can contact the USCIS to request a notice, or contact a law firm skilled in matters pertaining to employment immigration today.

If you have any questions about this announcement or any other immigration-related matter, please give us a call today.

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The award-winning Lightman Law Firm, founded by Douglas Lightman, has extensive experience in immigration law and international matters through both work and personal experience. With offices in Fairfax, VA, New York, New York and Jersey City, NJ, our firm understands what is at stake when it comes to immigration law matters, which is why if you have any questions, you should not hesitate to contact the Lightman Law Firm and schedule your initial consultation today.

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