The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) has updated guidance in its USCIS Policy Manual to address the documentation that E and L nonimmigrant spouses may use as evidence of employment authorization based on their nonimmigrant status.

On November 12, 2021, the USCIS issued a policy announcement to clarify that it will consider E and L spouses to be employment authorized based on their valid E or L nonimmigrant status. Since the November 2021 announcement, the Department of Homeland Security added new Class of Admission (“COA”) codes to distinguish between E and L spouses and children.

As of January 30, 2022, the USCIS and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) began issuing Forms I-94 with the following new COA codes for certain E and L spouses: E-1S, E-2S, E-3S, and L-2S. An unexpired Form I-94 reflecting one of these new codes is acceptable as evidence of employment authorization for spouses.

If you are an E or L spouse age 21 or over who has an unexpired Form I-94 that USCIS issued before January 30, 2022, the USCIS should mail you a notice beginning on or about April 1, 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 serve as evidence of employment authorization. If you are an E or L spouse and under 21, or if you have not received your notice by April 30, you can email to request a notice.

The USCIS will only send notices to individuals identified as qualifying spouses based on an approved Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. Individuals who received their Form I-94 upon entry from CBP should visit for a copy of their Form I-94.

If you believe you are eligible for work authorization and have questions, contact us at and speak with a U.S. immigration attorney in Ho Chi Minh City, Manila, and Taipei.

Copyright 2022. This article is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This article may be changed with or without notice. The opinions expressed in this article are those of Enterline Immigration only.