CBP Issues New I-94 E AND L Class Of Admission Codes
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has updated its admission system and has begun issuing electronic I-94 admission records containing employment authorization notations for newly-admitted L2 and E2 spouses. While CBP has not officially announced the change, effective Jan. 31, 2022, the agency has already begun issuing I-94 admission records reflecting “L2S” and “E2S” for L2 and E2 spouses, indicating that they are authorized to work in the United States.
For employers, L2 and E2 spouses who are admitted with this employment authorization notation will be immediately eligible to work in the United States without restriction until the expiration date listed on the I-94. They will no longer be required to apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from USCIS, although they may continue to apply for the EAD if they wish to do so.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has updated its I-9 policy guidance to confirm that employers can accept the new, revised I-94 containing an “L2S” or “E2S” notation as evidence of employment authorization under List C of the Form I-9.
However, employers should also be aware that CBP is not retroactively updating the I-94 admission records for L2 and E2 spouses already present in the United States. These individuals will only be eligible to obtain the work authorized I-94 notation the next time they return to the United States after foreign travel. L2 and E2 spouses who have not received an I-94 admission record containing the “L2S” or “E2S” employment authorization notation must continue to rely on their EAD as proof of their work authorization in the United States. Employers should be aware of this distinction when completing the I-9 process.