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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