New Guidance on E and L Spouses’ Employment Authorization

Mar 28, 2022

by Luke Phillips

On March 18, 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced that it is updating the guidance in its Policy Manual regarding what may be used as evidence of employment authorization for certain E and L nonimmigrant spouses. This updated guidance follows the November 2021 clarification from USCIS that it considers E and L spouses to be employment authorized incident to their valid E and L nonimmigrant status.

Accordingly, USCIS and U.S. Customs and Border Protection have started to issue Forms I-94 with new Class of Admission (“COA”) codes for certain E and L spouses: E-1S, E-2S, E-3S, and L-2S. An unexpired Form I-94 indicating one of the newly introduced codes is acceptable as evidence of employment authorization for spouses under List C of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.

For more information regarding the policy update, please see the USCIS Policy Alert and the new guidance in Part A and Part B of Volume 10 of the USCIS Policy Manual.

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