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L-2 Employment Authorization

Spouses of L-1 Intracompany Transferees, who hold “L-2” status in the United States, may apply for an employment authorization document (“EAD”) from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”).  Spouses must have made an entry into the United States in L-2 immigration status.

Where to Apply

USCIS has two "lockbox" facilities that handle applications.  Where to file for an EAD depends on the state in which the L-2 spouse resides.

If the L-2 spouse resides in: AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VT, VA, WV; Puerto Rico; or USVI, file with:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Attn:  I-765
2501 S. State Hwy. 121
Business Suite 400
Lewisville, TX  75067

If the L-2 spouse resides in: AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, MI, MN, MO, MT, ND, NE, NV, OH, OR, SD, UT, WA, WI, or WY, file with:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S
Suite 100
Phoenix, AZ 85034

How to Apply

L-2 applicants must file Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization with the following:

  1. Two passport-style color photographs;
  2. Photocopy of both sides of Form I-94 or I-94 record printout from  for the L-2 spouse;

  3. Photocopy of both sides of Form I-94 card or I-94 record printout from  for the L-1 transferee;
  4. Photocopy of USCIS Form I-797 Approval Notice (issued to the L-1 transferee’s employer) – if available or if applicable.  [In the case of an L “Blanket” approval, include a copy of the stamped or endorsed Form I-129S instead];
  5. We recommend including proof of marital relationship, ideally a photocopy of the marriage certificate.  If the marriage certificate is written in a language other than English, it must be accompanied by an English-language translation.  In the absence of marriage certificate, include photocopies of the identity pages from the L-2 spouse’s passport and the passport page that contains the latest L2 visa issued by the U.S. consulate.  The L2 visa should be annotated “PA <name of L-1>,” which will help to establish the spousal relationship;
  6. Color photocopy of a government-issued photo-ID, such as a clear and legible copy of a state-issued driver’s license or the identity pages from the L-2’s passport, or the L-2 visa; and
  7. Filing fee (a personal check is acceptable, made payable to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security”) in the amount of $410.00.

On Form I-765, in Part 16, complete the three bracketed fields by inserting “a” and “18.”  Leave one of the bracketed fields blank.  It does not matter which one, as long as Part 16 indicates “(a)(18).”

We recommend that applications be filed with USCIS via traceable means, such as certified mail with a return receipt requested, U.S. Express Mail, or private overnight delivery service (such as FedEx or UPS).

What USCIS Will Do

USCIS will issue a Form I-797 Receipt Notice to the person named in Part 1 on the I-765 and will send the Receipt Notice to the address listed in Part 1.  When USCIS approves the request for an EAD, it will mail the EAD (it is a plastic card, much like a credit card) to the applicant via first-class U.S. mail.  Processing times at the various USCIS Service Centers vary, but most EADs are produced in 60-90 days.

The Validity Period of the EAD

The EAD typically will be valid for the period of time for which the L-1’s status (as noted on the  L-1’s I-94) is valid, or two years – whichever is shorter.  (The expiration date on the L-2 spouse’s I-94 and on the L-1 transferee’s I-94 should be the same.) 

Renewing an EAD

The procedure for renewing an EAD is the same as the procedure described above. USCIS treats a renewal as a new application which requires a new I-765, new supporting documentation, and new filing fee.  We recommend that EAD renewals be filed with USCIS more than three (and preferably four) months before the existing EAD will expire so as to avoid the possibility of a gap in continued work authorization.

Social Security Number

L-2 spouses may apply for a Social Security Number by presenting their EAD and other documents and completing a Form SS-5 in person at the nearest office of the Social Security Administration. See

USCIS Website

The USCIS website where more information can be found is located at:

I-765 Instructions

I-765 Application


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