Immigrant Spouses of H-1B and L-1 Visa Holders Able to Work Legally

Mario A. Godoy
Immigrant Spouses of H-1B and L-1 Visa Holders Able to Work Legally

Thousands of immigrant spouses of H-1B and L-1 visa holders will be able to work legally as a result of the settlement of a class-action lawsuit. Trump administration policy changes, combined with the closures and backlogs due to the global pandemic, resulted in many immigrant spouses losing their U.S. jobs.

The policy change for immigrant spouses was making the United States a less attractive option for highly skilled workers that many companies are trying to attract. To work in the U.S., spouses of H-1B and L-1 visa holders applied for an L-2 or H-4 work permit as dependents. According to Jonathan Wasden, partner at Wasden Banias, who represented the 16 plaintiffs in the class action suit:

“In response to our lawsuit (Shergill v/s Mayorkas) the immigigration agency will change its policy. L-2 visa holders will no longer need to file 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. 

The lawsuit had complained that L-2 visa holders are eligible to work without a separate work permit, as a result of their spouse’s work permit. Nonimmigrant visas such as an L-1 visa or H-1B visa allow highly skilled workers to temporarily live and work in the U.S.

What Is An L-2 Visa?

An L-2 visa is a temporary, nonimmigrant visa for dependents (spouses and unmarried children under 21) of L-1 visa holders.

What Is An H-4 Visa?

An H-4 visa is a temporary, nonimmigrant visa for dependents (spouses and unmarried children under 21) of H-1B visa holders.

What Is An EAD?

All U.S. employers are required by law to have proof that employees, regardless of citizenship or national origin, are legally authorized to work in the United States. Non-citizens are required to have an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) work permit to work in the United States. 

Cook County and DuPage County Immigration Lawyer

Godoy Law Office is an established immigration law firm in Chicago and Lombard, Illinois, with attorneys who are ready to review your situation and help your immigration case. If you need help with an immigration issue, please contact our office at 630-912-0322.  

Godoy Law Office serves the entire Chicago, Illinois area including DuPage, Cook, Kane, Will, and Lake Counties. 

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