By Chris Musillo

On March 18, 2022, USCIS issued a Policy Alert, and updated its Policy Manual accordingly, to apprise certain spouses of E and L nonimmigrants how the USCIS plans to verify their employment authorization.

As of November 12, 2021, USCIS has indicated that certain E-1, E-2, E-3 and L-2 nonimmigrant dependent spouses will be granted employment authorization incident to status.

In its updated Policy Alert on the issue, USCIS indicates that:
  • As of January 30, 2022, USCIS and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) began issuing Forms I-94 with the following new Class of Admission (COA) codes for certain E and L spouses: E-1S, E-2S, E-3S, and L-2S.
An unexpired Form I-94 reflecting one of these new codes is acceptable as evidence of employment authorization for spouses under List C of Form I-9.
  • For E and L spouses with Forms I-94 issued by USCIS prior to January 30, 2022 (with notations E-1, E-2, E-3, E-3D, E-3R, or L-2), USCIS will mail a notice regarding the new COA codes that, together with an unexpired Form I-94 reflecting E-1, E-2, E-3 E-3D, E-3R, or L-2 nonimmigrant status, may serve as evidence of employment authorization under List C of Form I-9.
USCIS intends to begin mailing notices on or about April 1, 2022.