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Volume XII, Number 273

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DHS Begins Signifying Automatic Work Authorization for E and L Spouses with Use of a New Admission Code

In November 2021 DHS announced a new policy recognizing E and L dependent spouses as having employment authorized incident to their status, meaning they do not need to apply for a separate employment authorization document (“EAD”).  In a highly anticipated development, DHS has revealed that as of January 31, 2022 the E and L dependent spouses will have a special code noted on their I-94: Spouse of E-1 (E-1S), Spouse of E-2 (E-2S), Spouse of E-3 (E-3S), and Spouse of L-1A or B (L-2S).  This new code signifies the automatic employment authorization associated with the statuses of E and L dependent spouses.

This new code designation will be utilized as of January 31, 2022 and only applicable to new arrivals.  DHS will not be reissuing I-94s for individuals already present in the U.S. with a valid I-94.  If someone already inside the U.S wishes to have the new designation, they will be required to depart the U.S and re-enter.  However, DHS recently noted that regardless of a notation on the I-94, USCIS recognizes E and L spouses are authorized to work incident to status, and any valid I-94 is considered valid for work authorization.  While DHS indicated this change in policy has been added to its I-9 and E-Verify sites, so far that change has not been confirmed.  The change in policy is now reflected in the USCIS Policy Manual

Copyright © 2022 Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 42
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About this Author

Jennifer Cory, Womble Carlyle Law Firm, Charlotte North Carolina, Immigration LawAttorney
Partner

Jennifer Cory leads Womble Carlyle Immigration Solutions, which provides management of inbound immigration services for domestic and international employers and investors. Jennifer has practiced immigration law since 1995 and is certified as a Specialist in Immigration Law by the North Carolina State Bar.

Jennifer’s work focuses on employment-based immigrant and nonimmigrant petitions, including, but not limited to, preparation of treaty investor/trader visa applications, H-1B temporary worker petitions and L-...

704-350-6337
Susan Ramos  North Carolina WBD Immigration Attorney Consular processing Humanitarian Relief  Workplace Compliance Spanish Speaking
Senior Counsel

Susan is an immigration lawyer with over fifteen years of experience assisting individuals, families, and employers in connection with assessing available U.S. immigration options.

Her practice includes preparing and filing individual, family-based, and employment-based petitions, immigrant and nonimmigrant visa applications, and waivers of inadmissibility. She assists with complex consular processing issues, complicated citizenship and naturalization issues, petitions for humanitarian relief, and removal defense. She advises employers regarding worksite compliance, conducting...

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Jeffrey B. Widdison Attorney Immigration Womble Bond Dickinson Charlotte
Counsel

Jeff Widdison is an immigration attorney that represents clients in employment-based permanent residency cases, consular processing, nonimmigrant visa applications, naturalizations, family-based filings, administrative appeals to the AAO and BIA, employer sanctions, petitions for review with U.S. Circuit Courts, mandamus and APA causes of action filings with U.S. District Courts, and has a wealth of experience in representing clients with removal defense. He has been recognized as a Board Certified Immigration Specialist in Immigration Law by the North Carolina State Bar...

704-444-2950
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