New L and E Admission Codes Announced for Spouses Wanting to Work "Incident to Status"

On November 12, 2021, USCIS updated its Policy Manual to confirm that E and L spouses are authorized to work "incident to status." As a result, the government confirmed that E and L spouses will no longer need to apply for an employment authorization document in order to legally work in the U.S. At the time, admission codes for E and L dependents did not distinguish between who was an E-1/E-2/E-3 or L-2 spouse as opposed to the principal beneficiary or child. As a result, spouses who benefited from this policy change could not immediately take advantage of it.

However, as of January 31, 2022, new Codes of Admission were implemented by the Systems Enforcement Analysis and Review Division (SEAR).

These are the new I-94 codes for admission for E and L derivatives:

  • E-1S – Spouse of E-1
  • E-1Y – Child of E-1
  • E-2S – Spouse of E-2
  • E-2Y – Child of E-2
  • E-3S – Spouse of E-3
  • E-3Y – Child of E-3
  • L-2S – Spouse of L-1A or B
  • L-2Y – Child of L-1A or B

The new category code, chosen by the admitting officer, is needed by all E or L visa dependents for admission to the U.S as of January 31, 2022.

An individual's admission code can be found on his or her I-94. An I-94 can be found by entering a person's passport information here.

As the change did not go into effect until January 31, 2022, the only way to get the proper admission code to enable work for an L-2 or E spouse would be to depart and re-enter the U.S. with the appropriate visa.

Categories: Immigration Blog