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Automatic E/L-2 Work Authorization Without EAD, Automatic Extension of H-4 EAD

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), in settling a lawsuit has agreed to implement the following, effective Immediately:

Rescind the 2002 INS Memo entitled, “Guidance on Employment Authorization for E and L Nonimmigrant Spouses, and for Determinations on the Requisite Employment Abroad for L Blanket Petition.”

  1. Grant automatic work authorization to those who are in a valid E and L-2 dependent spouse status for the duration of validity. The E/L-2 visa will itself be the work permit and no additional filing of the I-765 EAD application will be necessary; but applicants may continue to file Form I-765 if they choose to receive an EAD;
  2. E/L2 dependent spouse needs to be in valid status; The I-94 card will need to be specifically annotated to indicate their spousal status; DHS is in the process of changing their system to incorporate this change;
  3. Those with an H-4 EAD extensions pending will be automatically granted extensions during the pendency of the adjudication provided they remain in a valid H-4 status.
  4. The automatic extension of the EAD will continue until the earlier of: the end date on Form I-94 showing valid status, the approval or denial of the EAD renewal application, or 180 days from the date of expiration of the previous EAD.

Automatic Extension will be provided IF certain conditions are met. The conditions are:

  • Unexpired Form I-94 showing unexpired non-immgrant status as an H-4, E or L-2 non-immigrant;
  • Properly file an application to renew the EAD;
  • I-797 receipt notice showing timely filed EAD renewal application (Form I-765) stating “Class requested” as “(a)(17),” “(a)(18),” or “(c)(26),”;
  • A facially expired EAD issued under the same category (that is, indicating Category A17, A18, or C26) may be acceptable to evidence unexpired employment authorization for Employment Eligibility Verification (I-9) purposes.

Please feel free to contact USILAW with any questions or issues that you may have. You may reach us via telephone at +1 (202) 618 4540 or via email at info@usilaw.com.

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