Automatic Employment Extension Authorization for H-4 & L-2 Visa Holders

H-1B & L-1 Visa Holders Spouses are Soon to Get Automatic Employment Extension Authorization

Automatic Employment Extension Authorization for H-4 & L-2 Visa Holders

Before we get started, let’s break down the visas that we are going to talk about in this article.

  • L-1A & L-1B visas are issued to temporary intracompany transferees who work in management positions or have special knowledge.
  • L-2 visas are reserved for dependents of an L-1 visa holder. This includes spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21.
  • The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant work visa issued to specialized workers from outside the US. An H-1B visa is generally given to a foreign worker if the US company cannot find an American citizen who can adequately fill the role. The job position requires either a higher education degree or a specialized skill that is commonly possessed. (Examples include doctors, lawyers, and IT specialists)
  • H-4 visas are reserved for dependents of an H-1B visa holder. This includes spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21.

The Case

The Times of India reported that a settlement agreement was issued on November 10, 2021. The plaintiffs in this class action case were 15 spouses of L-1 and H-1B visa holders. Before this, spouses of L-1 and H-1B visa holders were waiting typically 10 or more months to get employment authorization to work in the US. The wait was due to a backlog in processing employment authorization documents (EADs).

This caused many L-2 and H-4 visa holders to not be able to work once they got to the US, even if they already had jobs lined up.

H-4 visa holders could only file for an EAD six months before leaving for the US, causing the spouses to not be able to get their authorization before entering the US.

Now, under the settlement, H-4 visa holders who file their EAD renewals in a timely manner will qualify for an extension of up to 180 days.

L-2 visa holders will also receive automatic work authorization in the US.

This lawsuit is backed by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).

Contact us to speak with a BridgehouseLaw attorney regarding employment visas.