L2, E Dependent Visa Holders to Get Work Authorization Without EAD

L-2 and E dependent spouse visa holders will now automatically be authorized to work in the United States upon being admitted into the US by Customs and Border Protection (CBP). With full implementation expected by March, 2022, this will end the requirement for L-2 and E visa dependents to file a separate Form I-765 Employment Authorization Document (EAD), and allow the I-94 to be used for I-9 verification. L2 and E dependents will have automatic work authorization when approved for entry by CBP.

New Work Authorization Process for L-2 and E Dependent Visa Holders

After this change, when L-2 and E dependent visa holders go through CBP ports of entry, their I-94 travel admission document will have an “S” status, indicating that they are an L or E visa dependent who is authorized to work in the United States. The former documentation for L-2 and E dependent spouses, which stated they were “work authorized,” will no longer be used.

Will this change affect L and E dependent spouses already in the United States?

No. Those without an “S” designation on their I-94 will still be required to apply for EAD documents, or they can leave the US and return in order to get their I-94 stamped with the new “S” designation.

Can L-2 and E dependent spouses get the “S” designation without departing the United States and returning?

Yes. US Customs and Border protection has deferred inspection stations in the US and its territories. L-2 and E dependent spouses can contact these stations to update their I-94s and get the updated “S” designation.

How will this change affect visa extensions for L2 visa holders seeking work authorization?

When L2 dependents apply for visa extensions with USCIS and are approved, the new I-94 will also carry the updated “S” designation.

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