Permit L-2 and E Spouses Function without having an Work Authorization Doc | Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Seyfarth Synopsis: This is the second installment in a collection of suggestions to the Biden Administration on immigration reform previously published by the Cato Institute in “Deregulating Legal Immigration: A Blueprint for Company Action.”  Read the first installment below.  A total of five installments will be released on a weekly foundation.  Please remain tuned for added updates.

Let L-2 and E Spouses Get the job done devoid of an Employment Authorization Document

USCIS must expressly authorize work for L-2 and E spouses with no necessitating the wife or husband to apply for an employment authorization doc.

The L-1 visa group lets multinational companies to transfer selected expert overseas personnel to the United States, this kind of as managers, executives, and proficient personnel with specialized expertise. The E visa allows equivalent types of international nationals from international locations where the United States has “a treaty of commerce and navigation” to have out considerable trade (E-1), establish and immediate the operations of a company (E-2), or execute products and services in a specialty profession if from Australia (E-3). The legislation entitles the spouses of these workers to by-product standing,[i] and it calls for that USCIS “authorize the alien spouse to interact in work in the United States and present the husband or wife with an ‘employment authorized’ endorsement or other proper function permit.”[ii]

This statute clearly needs that, though USCIS have to individually issue a “work permit,” the company have to authorize E and L-2 spouses to perform every time they are in the United States without the need of these kinds of a allow. The Social Stability Administration (SSA) acknowledges their eligibility for work incident status—that is, primarily based on their admission as an L-2 or E spouse. SSA difficulties a Social Stability card “valid for perform only with particular DHS authorization.”[iii] An admission stamp entered into the passport of an E or L-2 husband or wife with a handwritten notation showing a period of approved stay by a DHS border inspector must suffice as a DHS authorization.[iv]

USCIS seems also to adopt the perspective that E or L-2 work is licensed as an inherent attribute of spousal by-product standing. Its approval notices for L-2 and E spouses refer to USCIS’s regulation that lists noncitizens authorized to acknowledge employment “incident to position.”[v] Yet the regulation itself does not really contain L-2 or E spouses.[vi] Additionally, USCIS’s Handbook for Employers (M-274) implies that L-2 and E spousal position does not suffice to prove employment authorization.[vii] USCIS must modify its laws so that persons are approved for employment centered on their spousal romantic relationship and thus do not show up to violate their position or drop eligibility to modify or alter their standing by functioning as the statute lets.

Company motion is also important because as lengthy as the USCIS’s M-274 Handbook for Employers is left unchanged, the Justice Department’s Immigrant and Worker Legal rights (IER) device could penalize employers who adhere to it.[viii] Employers that drop to accept an unexpired foreign passport that contains an L-2 or E dependent’s entry stamp issued by DHS would be engaging in “unfair documentary practices” related to verifying the employment eligibility of personnel. The IER states that “when verifying a workers’ employment authorization, employers … are not allowed to need more or unique documents than necessary” to verify identification and employment eligibility.[ix] With the backing of SSA’s interpretation, L-2 or E spinoff spouses would have a declare of unfair documentary procedures if an employer turned down them for failing to generate a USCIS work authorization doc. Consequently, by plan memorandum and afterwards by regulation, USCIS need to conform its interpretation to that of the SSA and explicitly provide L-2 and E spouses employment authorization incident to their standing. 

[i] 8 USC § 1101(a)(15)(E), (L) (2018)(All hyperlinks in the endnotes past frequented on April 28, 2021).

[ii] 8 USC § 1184(c)(2)(E) and 8 USC § 1184(e)(2) (2018).

[iii] Social Stability Administration, “Software Operations Handbook System (POMS)—Policy For Non‐​Immigrant Work Authorization,” RM 10211.420.

[iv] Border inspectors are section of U.S. Customs and Border Safety (CBP), which is a element of DHS.

[v] When USCIS difficulties work permits to L-2 and E spouses, it annotates the acceptance with a code, “A17” (for E nonimmigrant spouses) or “A18” (for L-2 spouses)—two reserved sections of 8 CFR § 274a.12(a) (2019) relevant to lessons of noncitizens authorized to take “employment incident to status.”

[vi] 8 CFR § 274a.12(a) (2019).

[vii] U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Providers, “12. Acceptable Documents for Verifying Work Authorization and Identification.” The M-274 does not demonstrate what an employer should do if the possible personnel presents a Checklist B driver’s license and a Social Protection selection card stating that it is valid for perform only with DHS authorization, and the personnel also offers DHS authorization in the variety of a CBP‐​issued L-2 admission stamp in his or her passport.

[viii] 8 USC § 1324b(a)(6) (2018).

[ix] Immigrant and Staff Rights Portion, “Styles of Discrimination,” Division of Justice.