USCIS Issues Updated Employment Authorization Guidance for E and L Nonimmigrant Spouses

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has provided updated guidance regarding the use of I-94 for employment authorization and what E and L nonimmigrant spouses without certain newer codes may do to prove employment authorization. This guidance reflects a further commitment from the USCIS to follow through on a policy memorandum it issued late last year informing E and L spouses that they would be authorized for employment-based upon their valid nonimmigrant status.

According to the policy memorandum, USCIS intended to add a new set of Class of Admission (COA) Codes which would allow those used for E and L spouses to be distinguished from children in order to prove employment authorization. This is critical because E and L spouses are employment authorized based on their status, whereas children are not.

Beginning on January 30th, 2022, USCIS and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) began issuing the following COA codes at admission for E and L spouses:

  • E-1S
  • E-2S
  • E-3S
  • L-2S

According to the USCIS, an unexpired Form I-94 which contains one of these new codes, will serve as an acceptable proof of work authorization as a List C document for these spouses when completing the Form I-9.

For E and L spouses that are under 21 years of age or have not received their notice by April 31st, 2022, they may email [email protected]. Those who received their form I-94 from the CBP may apply for an updated I-94 from the CBP.

As these changes reflect rules and regulations pertaining to completing the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification is constantly changing, and keeping up to date can be difficult for any employer.

One of the best ways to keep up to date without losing focus on your own work is by investing in an electronic I-9 management tool. Learn More

This can guide employers and their personnel through every step of completing the employment eligibility verification process and ensure documents are stored appropriately for future review.

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