On 18th March 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has updated their guidance to address acceptable evidence of work authorization for certain E and L non-immigrant spouses.


On 12th November 2021, USCIS policy change to consider E and L spouses to be employment authorized based on their valid E or L non-immigrant status, the agency has begun implementation of the policy and issued new guidance on the next steps in the process. The new class of admission (COA) codes for E and L spouses are E-1S, E-2S, E-3S, and L-2S for spouses. E and L non-immigrant children derivatives receive a “Y” designation instead of “S”. Since 30th January 2022, USCIS and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have been issuing Forms I-94 with “S” designations for E and L spouses, and “Y” designations for E and L children.

Individuals who are E or L spouse age 21 or over who has an unexpired Form I-94 that USCIS issued before 30th January, USCIS will mail you a notice beginning on or about 1st April, 2022. This notice along with an unexpired Form I-94 reflecting E-1, E-2, E-3, E-3D, E-3R, or L-2 non-immigrant status can be used as evidence of employment authorization. Individuals who are E or L spouse and under the age of 21, or if they have not received the notice by 30th April 2022, should email the following address to request a notice: E-L-married-U21@uscis.dhs.gov. These notices will only go out to those individuals who are identified as qualified spouses as stated on a Form I-539 that is approved by USCIS.


For any individual who filed the Form I-539 on their own, they should ensure that USCIS sends the notice to the proper US address. If they have not already done so, they should complete Form AR-11. Individuals who received their Form I-94 from U.S Customs and Borders Protection (CBP) should visit www.cbp.gov.


*Disha Srivastava, Publication Assistant has reported this brief.

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