L-2 spouses may no longer need to apply for work permit

L-1 visa is for those coming to the US on an intra-company transfer

New Delhi: A lawsuit contesting that L-2 visa holders do not need a separate employment authorization (or work permit) to be eligible for job opportunities or self-employment in the US, has yielded results. In the coming days, it is likely that the USCIS will announce that L-2 visa holders no longer need to apply for an  EAD.
Dependents such as the spouse of an L-1 visa holder (who is in the US on an intra-company transfer) are given the L-2 visa. H-4 visas are held by dependents including the spouse of the H-1B visa holder.

The lawsuit had contended that L-2 visa holders are eligible for employment ‘incident to status’. In other words, they should be eligible to work without a separate work permit application. However, USCIS required that the L-2 holders apply for a work permit – this often resulted in a job loss, as the wait for the application to be adjudicated took 10-15 months.
“We have hammered out the terms of the settlement agreement,” Jonathan Wasden, partner at Wasden Banias, who represented the 16 plaintiffs, told TOI.

These plaintiffs, majority of them Indian nationals, are holding an L-2 or H-4 dependent visas. They had contested that as the immigration agency has violated the law, they found themselves in the precious situation of being unemployed.
“In response to our lawsuit (Shergill v/s Mayorkas) the immigration agency will change its policy. L-2 visa holders will no longer need to apply for an EAD. Some H-4 visa holders will be eligible for auto extension of their EAD if they had valid status that lasted longer than the EAD,” explained Wasden.

Image courtesy of thesatimes

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