L-2, E-2 and H-4 EADs – Auto Extension or No Need to Apply for EADs

Pursuant to the settlement agreement in Shergill v. Mayrokas (to be implemented 120 days from January 31, 2022)

  1. New E and L Class of Admission (COA) codes implemented on January 31, 2022. Upon entry, I-94s generated for spouses of E and L holders will reflect these new codes (COA).
  2. DHS recognized that these dependent nonimmigrant spouses are not required to apply for employment authorization documents.
  1. L2:
    1. DHS agreed to recognize that L-2 spouses were employment authorized incident to status, 
    2. USCIS will interpret 8 CFR § 274a.13(d) such that certain L-2 nonimmigrant spouses who timely file their I-765 EAD renewal applications and continue to have L-2 status beyond the expiration date of their EAD qualify for the automatic extension of their (c)(18)- based EADs. The auto-extension would terminate the earlier of: the end date of the individual’s L-2 status, the approval or denial of the I-765 EAD renewal application, or 180 days from the “Card Expires” date on the face of the EAD.
  2. H4: 
    1. USCIS will amend the receipt notice currently issued to applicants to detail the EAD auto-extension eligibility for those holding H-4 status based on the validity period provided on a Form I-94 in combination with a facially expired EAD and the Form I-797C receipt notice for a timely-filed I-765 EAD renewal application
    2. USCIS will interpret 8 CFR § 274a.13(d) such that certain H-4 nonimmigrants who timely file their I-765 EAD renewal applications and continue to have H-4 status beyond the expiration date of their EAD qualify for the automatic extension of their (c)(26)-based employment authorization and EADs.
  3. E-2:
    1. DHS agreed to recognize that E nonimmigrant dependent spouses were also work authorized incident to status.  There will be a USCIS policy manual update recognizing this.

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