Work Permits for Spouses L2 & H4
Major changes in the framework for issuing work permits for spouses L2 and H4 are on the way! A landmark settlement was reached in Shergill, et al v. Mayorkas, which provides significant changes for nonimmigrant L2 and H4 spouses waiting for work permits.
- Work Permits for Spouses L2: automatic work authorization incident to status, which means they will no longer need to apply for employment authorization documents (EAD) to work in the United States.
- Work Permits for Spouses H4: automatic extension of work permit applications that are pending and were filed timely
How this impacts Work Permits for L2 spouses
L2 spouses who already filed their employment authorization document renewal applications and still have valid L2 status beyond the date of their current employment authorization qualify for automatic extension of their employment authorization document. The auto-extension terminates the earlier of the end date of the individual’s L2 status, the approval or denial of the I-765 EAD renewal application, or 180 days from the “Card Expires” date on the face of the EAD.
L2 spouses will need to show their Form I-94, or proof of valid pending renewal as evidence of employment authorization.
How this impacts Work Permits H4 spouses
H4 spouses who timely file their employment authorization renewal applications and continue to have H4 status beyond the expiration date of their employment authorization document qualify for the automatic extension of their employment authorization. The auto-extensions terminate the earlier of the end date of the individual’s H4 status as noted on Form I-94, the approval or denial of the Form I 765 EAD renewal application, or 180 days from the “Card Expires” date on the face of the EAD.
This major development in Shergill, et al v. Mayorkas will allow spouses to work in the US with significantly more ease. Considering the long processing times regarding employment authorization documents, this settlement’s impact cannot be understated. Official guidance from USCIS implementing these new rules and explaining the impact on filing Form-19 is expected soon.
If you are considering applying for L2 or H4 status, you might have questions regarding the application process and attending an institution of higher learning. The most common questions are the following:
How do Canadian citizens apply for H4 or L2 status?
As a Canadian citizen, you may apply for L2 or H4 status at the border. Generally, you will need to show that your spouse has been admitted to the US and secured status, as well as document the legitimacy of your relationship to the principal L1 or H1B non-immigrant.
Can L2 Study in the US?
Yes. L2 spouses and children can undertake courses of study in the U.S.
Can H4 Study in the US?
Yes. H4 spouses and children can undertake courses of study in the U.S.
If you have any questions about securing L2 or H4 status, and thereafter working or studying in United States, Call Silver Immigration today. With the H-1B lottery opening in a few months, now is the time to start planning!