NewsFlash! Major Improvements to Work Authorization Process for L-2 and Certain H-4 Spouses

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) announced today that a settlement has been reached with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) related to work authorization for L-2 and certain H-4 dependent spouses.

The official text of the settlement agreement has not yet been posted. However, per the AILA press release, the DHS has agreed to grant L-2 spouses work authorization incident to status. In other words, a dependent spouse in valid L-2 status will automatically have work authorization, without the need to first obtain an employment authorization document (EAD).

As for H-4 dependents spouses, the settlement agreement provides some relief, but it appears the relief will only apply in limited circumstances. The press release indicates that, if an H-4 spouse has an EAD with an expiration date earlier than the individual’s I-94 expiration date, that person may continue to work based on a timely filed pending EAD extension application. Presumably, work authorization would end once the person’s I-94 has expired, even if that individual had timely filed an application to extend H-4 status. However, we cannot confirm this until the official agreement is made public.

MurthyDotCom will post more details in the near future. To stay informed about the changes being made to the EAD program and other immigration law matters, please subscribe to the free MurthyBulletin.


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