On November 10, 2021, after litigation between the American Immigration Lawyers Association and USCIS, USCIS has announced that L-2 visa holders will no longer be required to apply for work authorization to work in the United Staes. L-2 visas are for spouses of L-1 visa holders. For more information on L-1 visas, please click here. There are several visa categories which allow the spouse of the visa holder to work in the U.S. For a list of eligible visas, please click here.
The lawsuit had contended that L-2 visa holders should be eligible for work “incident to status”. Incident to status refers to the fact that the visa holder should be eligible to work on the basis of their visas alone. They should not be required to apply for separate work authorization. USCIS, however, has always required that L-2 visa holders apply for a work permit before they are able to work. With the long pending times of the work permits, this is a welcomed change for many L-2 visa holders. Now, spouses of L visa executives and managers will no longer be required to apply for separate employment authorization prior to working in the United States. L-2 visa holders will now be able to work on their visas alone. This change will apply to those who are seeking employment and those who are self employed.
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