Month: May 2022

by Caroline Lee Caroline Lee No Comments

USCIS Issuing New I-797 Approval Notices for L-2 and E-2 Spouses

Pursuant to a recent USCIS policy change whereby the Service is now acknowledging that L-2, E-1, E-2, and E-3 spouses have employment authorization incident to their immigration status, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) has confirmed that it is updating all L-2 I-94s for L-2 spouses, 22 years of age or older, to add “S” to the status for those who entered prior to 1/31/22. Those entering on January 31, 2022 or later have had the “S” added upon entry to the U.S. CBP did not add the “S” to L-2 I-94 cards for foreign nationals ages 18-21 at time of entry, due to uncertainty about whether they were dependent spouses or children. For this group of L-2 dependents, the “S” will need to be added to applicable I-94s on next entry to the U.S., by presenting evidence of spousal relationship, or through the next filing with USCIS. CBP has been unable to make this adjustment for E-2 spouses given the difficulty in distinguishing between an E-2 principal and an E-2 dependent spouse. To seek the “S,” E-2 spouses will need to follow the same instructions as for the L-2 dependents ages 18-21.

USCIS is now issuing I-797 approval notices for L-2 and E-2 spouses that specifically state the notice may be used to document work authorization and for completion of Form I-9.

by Breanne Johnson Breanne Johnson No Comments

EAD Automatic Extensions Increased from 180 to 540 Days

USCIS has implemented this change to help bridge gaps in employment authorization that have become spurred by lengthy processing delays.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced this week that they are increasing the automatic extension timeframe for employment authorization documents (EADs) from 180 to 540 days. This EAD automatic extension applies to immigration status categories such as asylees, refugees, TPS holders, and spouses in H-4, E and L status with an unexpired I-94.  For the full list of eligible categories please check out the USCIS website at:

USCIS has implemented this change to help bridge gaps in employment authorization that have become more and more common during the past few years as a result of lengthening processing timelines. While this increased extension will undoubtedly help EAD applicants stay employment authorized for longer, we hope to see USCIS also dedicate resources to hiring additional staff so that case processing times can speed up and renewed EADs can be promptly issued.

by Lisa York Lisa York No Comments

USCBP Encourages US Land Travelers to Apply in Advance for I-94 Cards & Offers Other Tips for Crossing the Border Faster!

USCBP is urging travelers who require an I-94 to apply and prepay online before arriving at the land border. A Form I-94 is needed by all visitors except: U.S. citizens, returning resident aliens, aliens with immigrant visas, and most Canadian citizens visiting or in transit. Travelers will be issued an I-94 during the admission process at the port of entry. If you are traveling via a land border you may apply for an I-94 in advance at , which will save a considerable amount of time while at the port of entry later.

CBP also provides the following tips to speed up the border crossings process:

1. Check out the CBP informational website ( The CBP site has been completely redesigned to help users quickly access the content they need. It also is optimized for access by smart phones and makes use of a new content delivery network that will improve access internationally.

2. Beat the border rush Cross during off-peak times, such as before 6 a.m. or after 3 p.m. Most lines at the border start building in the morning and carry on into early afternoon. Monitor wait times via the CBP “Border Wait Times” website. Information is updated hourly and is useful in planning trips and identifying periods of light use/short waits.

3. Keep travel documents handy. Make sure each passenger has the correct travel document accessible and ready to give to the CBP officer. If you are a frequent international traveler and have not already become a member of a trusted traveler program, sign up now. For more information, please visit CBP’s Trusted Traveler Programs website.

4. Know the contents of your vehicles and be prepared to declare all items. Travelers are required to declare all items being imported into the United States from Canada. If you are not sure about what to declare, do not hesitate to ask the CBP officer.

5. Know what food products can be imported. Many fruits, meats, dairy and poultry products are prohibited from being imported into the United States from Canada. For more information, view prohibited and restricted items on the USCBP website.

6. Declare all firearms. Travelers are reminded that specific requirements must be met to import or export firearms and ammunition to/from the United States. For more information on the importation or exportation of firearms and ammunition visit the ATF website.

7. Leave marijuana at home.  Although marijuana is legal in many U.S. states and Canada, the sale, possession, production and distribution of marijuana all remain illegal under federal law.