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H-4 & L-2 Spouses Are Now Automatically Authorized for Employment


H-4 & L-2 visas are common forms of work authorization in the United States. Under the H-4 visa, family members of H-1B visa holders can enter the United States for the same period of time as the worker. An L-2 visa is a treaty investor visa for individuals who are citizens of a country with a treaty of commerce and navigation with the United States. Countries include Australia, Germany, United Kingdom, and Canada.

If you want to apply for an H-4 or L-2 visa, it is essential to know that eligible spouses of professional and executive visa holders will receive an automatic extension of their work authorization documents.

Spousal Employment Authorization Policies

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has recently changed its spousal employment authorization policies for H-4 and L-2 visa holders. Both H-4 and L-2 visa holders will be allowed to avoid employment gaps due to paperwork processing delays and backlogs. Eligible visa holders will be able to obtain work authorization.

Therefore, if you are an H-4 and L-2 visa holder who has filed an extension of their employment authorization document (EAD) and have an unexpired visa, you will get an automatic extension of work authorization. The dependent spouses of those with an L visa will also automatically get work authorization without needing an EAD. However, you will need to fill out Form I-94.

How to Prepare

In the past, H-4 and L-2 visa holders had to wait months to renew their work authorization. This automatic authorization will help visa holders avoid this employment gap. However, you must speak to an experienced immigration attorney to ensure you qualify. Our team at Akula & Associates P.C. can review your situation and help determine if you have everything you need to obtain the automatic work authorization.

If you need help applying for a visa, obtaining work authorization, or solving another employment immigration issue, contact us at (844) 299-5003 to schedule a consultation!