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Employment Authorization Update for Spouses of E and L Nonimmigrant Visa Holders

By March 18, 2022October 5th, 2023No Comments

On November 12, 2021, USCIS clarified that E and L spouses are employment authorized automatically as a result of having valid dependent E or L nonimmigrant status. This does not apply to children of E and L nonimmigrants. Arrival-Departure Records (Form I-94) are being modified to reflect an “S” designation for spouses who are authorized to work incident to their status. Spouses of E and L nonimmigrants should now see their status listed as either “E2S” or “L2S” and can begin work immediately. They will no longer be required to apply for employment authorization using Form I-765 (although they still can), avoiding the need to wait for their employment authorization document to arrive in the mail. The updated I-94 document bearing this designation is acceptable as evidence of employment authorization for purposes of completing Form I-9 with the spouse’s employer and must be accepted as a valid List C document of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.