Update on Employment Authorization for Certain E and L Nonimmigrant Spouses

As of January 30, 2022, USCIS and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) began issuing Form I-94, Arrival-Departure records, with new classes of admission (COA) codes for certain E and L nonimmigrant dependent spouses who are employment authorized based on their status. The COA designations for E nonimmigrant spouses are E-1S, E-2S, E-3S, and L-2S for nonimmigrant L spouses. Forms I-94 containing these code designations are acceptable as a List C, #7 employment authorization document issued by the Department of Homeland Security.

UPDATE: USCIS mailed notices in early April 2022, to E and L spouses (age 21 or over) who have an unexpired Form I-94 that USCIS issued before Jan. 30, 2022. This notice, along with an unexpired Form I-94 reflecting E-1, E-2, E-3, E-3D, E-3R, or L-2 nonimmigrant status, will satisfy Form I-9, List C, #7.

Employees who are an E or L spouse, employment authorized based on their status and under 21, or did not receive the notice by April 30 can email E-L-married-U21@uscis.dhs.gov to request a notice. Individuals who received their Form I-94 at the time of their entry into the United States should visit https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/home. Not all spouses of principal E nonimmigrants are considered employment authorized incident to status.

Source: USCIS, May 10, 2022: UPDATE: Documentation of Employment Authorization for Certain E and L Nonimmigrant Dependent Spouses | USCIS


House Bill Prompts Fight Over STEM Green Card Caps

A proposal to exempt science, technology, engineering and math graduates from green card caps is proving to be a sticking point for lawmakers negotiating a bill to boost U.S. competitiveness against China, with critics arguing the proposal doesn’t fit the purpose of the legislation.

Proponents say eliminating green card caps for STEM graduates with a doctorate or equivalent degree would give the U.S. a leg up in economic competition with China by helping the U.S. science and technology industry attract and retain top talent.

But several lawmakers expressed skepticism about the connection between those issues on Thursday at the first meeting of a bipartisan committee made up of members of both houses tasked with hashing out differences between the two chambers’ competition bills.

The STEM green card proposal faces a rocky road ahead in part because it was included only in the House version of the legislation, passed by Democrats in February in a party-line vote.

The overwhelming majority of speakers at Thursday’s conference highlighted the importance of keeping the U.S. technology industry ahead of China’s to ensure the U.S. maintains an economic and military edge over its chief global rival, and backers of the green card provisions hope national security arguments will resonate on both sides of the political aisle.

Even if the green card provisions don’t make it into the final competition bill, lawmakers on Capitol Hill are engaged in separate negotiations seeking to come up with a bipartisan immigration reform package that could provide a vehicle for the proposal.

But previous attempts at finding bipartisan consensus on a broad immigration bill have repeatedly run aground, raising skepticism about whether anything will ultimately come of those talks.

Source: Mike LaSusa, Law360.com, May 13, 2022: https://www.law360.com/immigration/articles/1492838/competition-bill-sparks-fight-over-stem-green-card-caps

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