As previously reported, A recent settlement between the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will result in two major changes to the way that USCIS treats L-2, H-4, and E Dependent Spouse work authorization: L-2 and E Dependent Spouse holders will be granted automatic employment authorization incident to their status. H-4 holders will be granted automatic renewals of employment authorization for applicants that already have valid H-4 status (but an expired EAD card). 

Green and Spiegel has received confirmation that some CBP Ports of Entry have already implemented the policy for L dependent spouses and E dependent spouses (including E-1, E-2, and E-3) as of Monday, January 31, 2022.  Importantly, we do not have official confirmation from CBP at this time (and thus cannot confirm the policy has been implemented uniformly across all Ports of Entry). 

Under the new policy, spouses of E and L visa holders would receive an annotated I-94, clarifying that they are the spouse of a nonimmigrant visa holder. For example, the spouse of an E-3 visa holder would receive an I-94 that indicates E-3DS, and the spouse of an L-1 visa holder would receive an I-94 that indicates L-2S.

These new annotations will be considered acceptable proof of employment authorization for I-9 purposes.  

Green and Spiegel will provide further confirmation and update as we know more.  

Green and Spiegel, An Immigration Law Firm with Six Decades of Experience:

Green and Spiegel is monitoring this situation closely and will continue to update our blog and provide E-Alerts to advise on the latest developments. As always, we strongly encourage you to reach out to our office if you have any questions regarding if or how these changes impact you, your business, and your family. Our office number is (215)395-8959, we can be reached via web.


  • Jonathan A. Grode

    Jonathan Grode serves as the U.S. Practice Director and Managing Partner for the Firm.

  • Andrew Clancy Rodgers

    Andrew Rodgers is a Senior Associate Attorney in the Firm’s Providence office. Andrew represents clients on a variety of matters, including Form I-9 / E-Verify Compliance, Cross-Border, nonimmigrant visa applications, employment-based visa petitions, and applications for permanent residency and citizenship.

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