How do spouses of E Visa and L-1 Visa holders get work authorization?- Resources Blog - US Immigration FAQs - Richards and Jurusik Immigration Law - Buffalo NY

As of November 12, 2021, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has extended automatic work authorization incident to status to include the spouses of both E Visa and L-1 Visa holders. This means that the qualifying spouse of E Visa and L-1 Visa holders are not required to obtain a work authorization document (EAD) prior to commencing work. They simply need to provide either their I-797 Approval or their valid I-94. They are also able to immediately apply for and obtain a U.S. Social Security Number (SSN).

Some key points in this policy update provide that:

  • Certain E, L-1, or H-4 dependant spouses qualify for an automatic extension of their existing employment authorization and EAD.
  • 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
    • 180 days from the date of the expiration of the previous EAD
  • The following combination of documents evidence the automatic extension of the previous EAD, and is acceptable to present to employers for Form I-9 purposes:
    • Form I-94 indicating the 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
  • E and L-1 dependent spouses are employment authorized incident to their status, and therefore they are no longer required to request employment authorization but may continue to request an EAD through USCIS Form I-765.

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