Major Changes Implemented in Employment Authorization Procedures for Spouses of H, E and L Visa Holders (US)

On November 12, 2021, the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) issued new insurance policies conferring the profit of computerized extension of employment authorization for sure H-4, E, and L nonimmigrant dependent spouses.  This important shift in coverage comes on the heels of the Division of Homeland Safety’s (DHS) settlement in Shergill et al v. Mayorkas, 2:21-cv-01296 (U.S.D.C., Western District of Washington), with H-4 and L-2 spouses difficult protracted delays in processing their work authorization purposes.

Per the replace to the USCIS Policy Manual, as of November 12, 2021, the EAD (Employment Authorization Doc) of E-1, E-2, E-3, H-4 and L-2 dependent spouses will likely be routinely prolonged for a interval of as much as 180 days if:

  • The dependent partner correctly filed an Utility for Employment Authorization (Kind I-765) for a renewal of their EAD, in the identical class earlier than the present EAD expired; and

  • The dependent partner has an unexpired Kind I-94 indicating legitimate E, L, or H-4 by-product standing.

Any such computerized extension of work authorization will terminate routinely on the sooner of:

  • The top of the validity interval of the nonimmigrant standing, as proven on the Kind I-94;

  • The approval or denial of the applying to resume the earlier EAD utilizing Kind I-765; or

  • 180 days from the date of the expiration of the earlier EAD.

The profit of the automated EAD extension may very well be restricted or unavailable to sure L and E spouses because the auto-extension of the EAD can’t lengthen past the partner’s E or L standing.  As such, if the EAD and standing expire on the similar time, the auto-extension could also be short-lived or unavailable.  To keep away from this difficulty, principal L and E workers could search to increase their standing as quickly as they’re eligible, which is 180 days earlier than their present standing expires. The E or L partner might then journey outdoors the U.S., receiving a brand new I-94 to match the principal worker’s upon re-entering the nation, and instantly file their EAD extension petition.

Employer I-9 Procedures

For employers hiring or re-verifying such workers, the next mixture of paperwork are acceptable for I-9 functions to proof the automated extension of the beforehand expired EAD, per current updates to the USCIS Handbook for Employers M-274:

  • The facially expired earlier EAD referencing classes A17, A18, or C26, as relevant;

  • A Discover of Motion (Kind I-797C) for Kind I-765 with class requested in the identical class because the expired EAD ((a)(17), (a)(18), or (c)(26)as relevant), and displaying that the renewal utility was filed earlier than the EAD expired; and

  • An unexpired Arrival-Departure File (Kind I-94) reflecting H-4, E, or L by-product standing.

E and L Dependent Spouses Work Licensed Incident to Standing

Inside the subsequent 4 months, USICS and U.S. Customs and Border Safety (CBP) will start issuing Kind I-94 admission paperwork for E-1, E-2, E-3, and L-2 spouses with notations indicating that these people are licensed to work incident to their nonimmigrant standing.  In different phrases, these spouses will now not be required to use for an EAD to proof their authorization to work and the annotated I-94 doc will likely be a suitable I-9 doc for work authorization.  Nevertheless, till these adjustments are applied, E and L spouses might want to current an EAD (or proof of an auto extension as described above) for work authorization.


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