USA: Termination of EAD applications (dependent work authorisation)

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Last November, the American authorities announced a reduction to the procedures for work authorisation applications for dependents with L or E visas.

Procedures for work authorisation applications for dependents who wished to work in the USA were relatively long, with processing times between 6 to 9 months depending on the state:

Obtention of the L or E visa

Arrival in the USA: obtention of an I-94 

EAD application (processing time of 6 to 9 months)

Obtention of the EAD (authorisation to work)


Since March 2022, it’s no longer necessary to submit an EAD application. The work authorisation is now featured directly on the I-94 on arrival in the USA with a notice mentioning “S” for “Spouse” after the visa name: L-2S or E-2S. The procedure is therefore shortened and now only involves two steps:

Obtention of the L or E visa

Arrival in the USA: obtention of the I-94 L-2S or E-2S (authorisation to work)


I-94s featuring this new notice replace the EAD, a document which was formerly necessary in order to be employed in the USA while holding a dependent L2 or E2 visa.

If your workers are already in the USA with their spouses, they have two options:

  1. In international airports, some CBP (CBP Deferred Inspections) offices have been accepting to resend these documents in order to get the new notice, but results have been mixed and not always successful.
  2. Otherwise, it’s possible to leave and then re-enter the USA via an international airport from a foreign country in order to update the I-94.

If your workers and their families are preparing to go to the USA using this type of visa, on arrival they’ll have to check that the border agent correctly adds this notice to the spouse’s entry stamp, and that it appears on their I-94.


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