The US L2 visa is a visa that allows the spouse and children of an L1 visa holder to go to the U.S and stay with them. We have recently covered what an L1 visa is. The L2 visa is also called an L1 dependent visa. This visa is granted to the spouse and dependents of an L1 visa holder. The L2 is a non immigrant visa but still allows for many benefits during the applicant’s time in the US. In this article, we will be explaining what you need to know about the L2 Visa. We will also be covering the L2 visa requirements.
- What is an L2 Visa ?
- Eligibility for the L2 Visa
- Ineligibility for the L2 Visa
- Benefits of an L2 Visa
- How to apply for L2 visa
- Documents Required for the L2 Visa
- Employment on an L2 Visa
- L2 Visa Validity
What you need to know about the L2 Visa
What is an L2 Visa
The L2 visa is meant for the spouse and children of an L1 visa holder. The L2 visa enables them to go with the L1 visa holder to the US.
Eligibility for the L2 Visa
The spouses and children of L1 visa holders are eligible for the L2 visa. This allows them to go to the U.S with the L1 visa holder.
In order to be eligible for the L2 visa:
- The spouse has to be legally married to the L1 visa holder
- Children have to be unmarried and younger than 21 years old
- Other family members such as parents, siblings, or grandparents cannot apply for the L2 Visa.
Ineligibility for an L2 Visa
Who is Ineligible for an L2 Visa?
Even if an L1 visa holder is the primary caretaker of their parents, and the parents are their dependents, unfortunately this does not qualify the parents for an L2 visa.
Also, there are cases where the USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) may disallow an L2 visa if they find information that the applicant will not accompany or stay with the L1 visa holder.
Benefits of an L2 Visa
- Live in the U.S temporarily
- Study full-time or attend a school in the US
- Apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
- Change your visa status to another non immigrant visa
- Travel abroad and return to the US
How to Apply for an L2 Visa?
In order to apply for the L-2 Visa certain steps must be followed. These steps are mentioned below:
- The applicant must apply for the DS-160 Form and upload their photograph.
- The applicant must create a profile and follow the onscreen steps until they reach the confirmation screen.
- The confirmation page of the DS-160 form must be printed out. The CEAC barcode must be on it. The CEAC stands for consular electronic application center.
- The applicant can use the payment options to pay the visa fees. They can also pay at one of the designated branches.
- The individual must schedule a consular interview and an appointment with the OFC.
- The bank reference number for the payment will be asked during the interview, so the appointments can be scheduled after the fee receipt has been received. The activation of the fee receipt varies from three hours to two days depending on the mode of payment for the visa fee.
- The applicant must attend the interview. They must reach 15 minutes before the interview starts. The applicant must carry the original receipt of the bank fee with barcode stickers, the appointment letter for the interview and all the other supporting documents.
Documents required for the L2 Visa
- Appointment letter for the US visa Interview.
- Printout of the Form DS-160 along with the CEAC Barcode.
- Valid passport.
- Photographs as per the guidelines.
- Visa issuance fee or demand draft.
- The birth certificate (original) of the applicant is required if the applicant is below the age of 14 years.
- Marriage certificate (original).
- Entire photo album of the wedding.
- All the pages of the L-1 holder’s passport. If the passport has been already submitted then it should have an identifiable photograph and must be in a good condition.
- Employer’s letter that talks about the applicant’s relationship with the L-1 Visa holder and the travel purpose.
- Employment verification letter of the L-1 Visa holder.
- Photocopy of income tax return of the L-1 Visa holder.
Employment on an L2 Visa:
The L2 visa holder must obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) in order to work for an employer in the United States of America. The EAD serves as the L2 visa work permit.
As per the I-9 employment eligibility verification form, an individual can possess a social security card as long as that card does not mention any kind of restriction on it such as:
- Invalid for employment
- Valid for employment with INS authorization only
- Valid for employment with DHS Authorization only
In such cases, the L2 visa holder must submit an additional proof in order to prove that they have authorization for employment.
On top of the social security card, the EAD (Employment Authorization Document) card can be submitted as proof. Even if the L2 visa holder does not need an EAD card, it is highly recommended that they apply for it .
The EAD card will ensure that the L-1 Visa holder’s spouse can work in the United States of America. However, the L-1 Visa holder’s dependent children are not authorized automatically to work in America.
L2 Visa Validity
The validity of the L2 visa depends on the L1 visa it is connected to it. The L2 visa will be valid as long as the L1 visa is. The dependents of an L1-A visa holder can stay in the U.S for a maximum of 7 years. Dependents of an L1-B visa holder can stay in the U.S for a maximum of 5 years. The L2 visa expires as soon as the L1 visa expires.
In an upcoming article we will be writing about the L2 visa interview questions.
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Children must be unmarried and below 21 years of age.
Yes the L2 visa is connected with the L1 and expires when it does.
No, parents are not eligible for the L2 visa.