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

26 Jul


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.