USCIS Update

As of November 12, 2021, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has implemented a noteworthy policy update, granting an automatic extension of work authorization to spouses of both E and L-1 Visa holders. This pivotal change eliminates the need for a separate work authorization document (EAD) for qualifying spouses, streamlining the employment process.

Key Points of the Policy Update:

  1. Automatic Extension of Employment Authorization:
    • Qualifying spouses of E, L-1, or H-4 dependents are eligible for an automatic extension of their existing employment authorization and EAD.
    • The automatic extension remains valid until the earliest of:
      • The end date on Form I-94 indicating valid status (E, L-1, or H-4).
      • The approval or denial of the EAD renewal application.
      • 180 days from the expiration date of the previous EAD.
  2. Acceptable Documents for Form I-9 Purposes:
    • The combination of the following documents serves as evidence of the automatic extension of the previous EAD:
      • Form I-94 indicating unexpired nonimmigrant status (E, L-1, or H-4).
      • Form I-797C for a timely filed EAD renewal under a qualifying category.
      • The facially expired EAD issued under the same category.
  3. Employment Authorization for E and L-1 Dependent Spouses:
    • E and L-1 dependent spouses are now employment authorized incident to their status.
    • There’s no longer a requirement to request employment authorization separately, but spouses may still apply for an EAD through USCIS Form I-765 if desired.

Securing a U.S. Social Security Number:

Spouses of E and L-1 Visa holders, benefiting from this policy update, can immediately apply for and obtain a U.S. Social Security Number. This facilitates their engagement in various official and financial activities within the United States.

Stay informed about these USCIS changes, and empower yourself with the knowledge to navigate the complexities of work authorization effortlessly. Whether you are an E or L-1 Visa holder or their qualifying spouse, this guide aims to provide clarity on the latest developments in USCIS policies.

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