U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced Friday that it would update the USCIS Policy Manual regarding the documentation certain E and L nonimmigrant spouses can use as evidence of authorization to work in the U.S.

  • In November, following the settlement of Shergill, et al vMayorkas, USCIS announced that E and L spouses would be employment authorized based on their valid E or L nonimmigrant status.
  • Beginning Jan. 30, 2022, USCIS and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) began issuing Forms I-94 with new Class of Admission (COA) codes (E-1S, E-2S, E-3S, and L-2S) for certain E and L spouses. Individuals can now use unexpired Forms I-94 with one of these new codes as a List C document for Form I-9 employment verification.
  • USCIS said Friday that on or around April 1, it would begin mailing notices to E and L spouses ages 21 and over who have an unexpired Form I-94 that USCIS issued before Jan. 30, 2022. Individuals can use this notice, along with an unexpired Form I-94 reflecting E-1, E-2, E-3, E-3D, E-3R, or L-2 nonimmigrant status, as evidence of employment authorization.
  • E and L spouses who are under 21, or those who have not received a notice by April 30, should email E-L-married-U21@uscis.dhs.gov to request one.

BAL Analysis: Under the terms of the the Shergill settlement, USCIS made significant, beneficial changes to work authorization rules for many spouses of high-skilled workers. The agency is now taking steps to clarify what documentation E and L spouses may use to show that they are authorized to work in the U.S. BAL will continue following this matter and will provide updates as information becomes available.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@bal.com.

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