If you are the spouse or an unmarried child below the age of 21 of an L-1 visa holder, you are considered a dependent. You may be eligible to enter the United States on an L-2 visa and have the same duration of stay as the L-1 visa holder.
There are several benefits to the L-2 visa. This class of visas is considered a dual intent visa. Which means, though you have been admitted to the U.S. temporarily, you may apply for permanent residence upon meeting all the eligibility requirements.
Also, while on an L-2 visa, you can apply to get an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). The EAD gives you permission to work anywhere in any kind of job in the U.S. You may choose to work full time or part time. Generally, the EADs are valid for a duration of 2 years and can be extended. You will be able to apply for an extension as long as the L visa status is valid.
If you are an unmarried child of the L-1 visa holder, then you can study in the U.S. However, you will not be eligible for an EAD.
Parents of the L-1 visa applicant are not considered as dependents even if the applicant is the one who takes care of his/her parents.
Apart from this, you may also be able to apply for a change of status to B-1/B-2, F-1, H-1B or H-4 visas. You can apply for this change of status along with your relatives as long as all of you meet all the eligibility requirements.
When USCIS approves an L-1 visa, it holds the right to deny the L-2 visa if it finds that the applicant’s purpose of getting the visa is not used to stay with the primary L-1 visa holder. As an L-2 visa applicant, you need to ensure that you provide all the necessary documentation in support of your case.
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Immigration law can be complicated and this article does not exhaust all the circumstances surrounding the L-2 visas. These issues can be extremely complex, and a single misstep could potentially lead to a rejection of your application or other immigration penalties. If you have any questions regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact our office.
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