On May 11, 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released updated information related to their November 12, 2021, Policy Alert regarding the automatic extension of employment authorization for certain H-4, E, and L dependent spouses.
The November Policy Alert indicated that L-2 and certain E spouses were authorized to work simply by virtue of their L-2 or E status (“incident to status”), meaning that these individuals would no longer be required to apply for EADs prior to working in the United States. However, at that time, E or L spouses needed to continue to rely upon an EAD as evidence of employment authorization to present to employers for completion of Form I-9 until USCIS and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) could implement changes to the Form I-94 to distinguish E and L spouses from E and L children who are not eligible for EADs.
In April 2022, USCIS began mailing notices to E and L spouses over the age of 21 holding unexpired Forms I-94 issued before January 30, 2022. The updated information released on May 11, 2022, indicates that this notice, along with an unexpired Form I-94 reflecting E-1, E-2, E-3, E-3D, E-3R, or L-2 nonimmigrant status, is sufficient to demonstrate employment authorization as a List C document on Form I-9.
The updated information also clarifies that Form I-94 admission code designations E-1S, E-2S and E-3S for E nonimmigrant spouses and L-2S for nonimmigrant L spouses are acceptable to demonstrate employment authorization as a List C document on Form I-9.
E or L spouses who did not receive the above notice by April 30, 2022, or who are employment authorized based on their status and under the age of 21, can email E-L-married-U21@uscis.dhs.gov to request a notice. Individuals who received their Form I-94 at the time of their entry into the United States should visit https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/home to retrieve a copy of the Form I-94 with the admission code.
If you have questions about employment authorization for E or L spouses, you are encouraged to contact our attorneys.
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