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July 2022: USCIS Provides Updated Work Authorization Documentation Guidance for Certain Nonimmigrant Spouses

26 Jul

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Update Applicable to:
All employers.

What happened?
On March 18, 2022, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) formalized updated policy guidance on documentation that certain E and L dependent spouses may use to complete Form I-9.

What are the details?
As of January 30, 2022, USCIS and the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) commenced issuance of new Class of Admission (COA) codes on Forms I-94 to capture the policy guidance recognizing E and L spouses as employment authorized incident to status.

As it stands, an unexpired Form I-94 with the code E-1S, E-2S, E-3S, or L-2S, is acceptable to indicate evidence of work authorization under List C for Form I-9 verification.

Beginning on or about April 1, 2022, E and L spouses age 21 and over who have an unexpired Form I-94 issued before January 30, 2022, will receive an official notice by mail. For these individuals, the notice and unexpired Form I-94 reflecting an E-1, E-2, E-3, E-3D, E-3R, or L-2 COA code will serve as proof of employment authorization. In addition, E or L spouses under 21 years of age or those who do not receive the notice by April 30, 2022, are instructed to email E-L-married-U21@uscis.dhs.gov to make a request.

This clarification comes after the initial USCIS guidance released on November 12, 2021, did not include specific List C documentation guidance on how L and E spouses would complete Form I-9.

For more information, please see the links below:

Updated Policy Guidance

Article 1Article 2

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links above and make sure their I-9 documents comply with the USCIS.

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This communication is intended solely for the purpose of conveying information. The present post might incorporate hyperlinks directing readers to websites managed by third-party entities. The inclusion of any links within this communication is meant to serve as points of reference and could encompass opinion articles from various law firms, articles from HR associations, official websites, news releases, and documents of government agencies, and other relevant third-party sources. Vensure has no authority over these external websites and bears no responsibility for their content. Furthermore, Vensure does not endorse the materials present on these websites. The contents of this communication should not be interpreted as legal advice or as a legal standpoint concerning specific facts or scenarios. Nor should it be deemed an exhaustive compilation of facts potentially pertinent to federal, state, or local laws. It is strongly advised that employers solicit legal guidance from an employment attorney when undertaking actions in response to any legal updates provided. This is due to the possibility of future alterations occurring in federal, state, and local laws, regulations, as well as the directives and guidelines issued by governing agencies. These changes may transpire at any given time, potentially rendering certain portions of the content within this update void or inaccurate.

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