The L-2 visa is a non-immigrant visa designed for the dependents of L-1 Visa Holders. With the L-2 Visa, Dependents of L-1 Visa can live, study and work in the US. This article will guide you on how to apply and successfully get this type of visa.
What is L-2 Visa?
The L-2 Visa is a non-immigrant visa issued to the spouses and children of L-1 Visa holders. Employees of an international company with offices in the US who intend to enter the US for business are issued an L-1 Visa.
This includes L-1A for managers and L-1B for workers with specialized knowledge. Individuals in the US on L-1 status can bring their spouse and children along with them through this visa. The L-2 as a visa is similar to the H-4 Visa for Dependents of H Visa Holders.
What are the Benefits of Getting an L-2 Visa?
- L-2 visa holders can reside temporarily in the US.
- This type of visa holder can work on a full-time basis in the US with an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
- L-2 visa holders can engage in full-time study in the US.
- Individuals holding this kind of visa are permitted to travel in and out of the US on short trips.
- They can also change the status of their visa to another non-immigrant visa.
Who Is Eligible For L-2 Visa?
Only Dependents of the L-1 Visa holders are eligible for this type of visa. Here, USCIS sees dependents as the Immediate family members of the L-1 Visa Holder—which includes a spouse and unmarried children below 21 years of age. Other related family members like parents or siblings of the L-1 Visa holder are not eligible for this kind of visa.
What Are The Requirements For L-2 Visa?
If you’re eligible for this type of visa, you will need the following documents to apply for this visa. Some of these documents can only be gotten after your online application.
- Your Passport
- A copy of L-1 Holder’s Visa
- Your Visa interview appointment letter
- DS-160 Confirmation page
- Passport of the L-1 visa holder
- 2 passport photographs in compliance with the US visa photograph requirements
- Receipts of Application fees paid
- A Copy of the L-1 visa holder’s Form I-129 and Form I-797
- Marriage certificate (for spouses)
- Birth certificate (for children)
- Wedding pictures (for spouses)
- Government-issued identity document
- Payslips (if L-1 Visa Holder is already in the US)
- Letters from both past and present employers of L-1 Visa holders.
How To Apply for L-2 Visa?
To get an L-2 Visa, you should follow the below steps:
1. Fill and submit Form DS-160
You are expected to fill Form DS-160. You will be required to fill in your personal information.
After filling the form with your correct information, you are expected to submit it online and a barcode will be displayed on a confirmation page. Ensure you print out the confirmation page because it will be needed for your Visa interview.
2. Pay the visa application fee
The L-2 visa application fee is $160. However, some US Embassies may attach additional fees such as a visa issuance or reciprocity fee. Keep your proof of payments intact, after paying the required fees.
3. Schedule Visa Interview
If you’re above 13 years and below 79 years, you are required to schedule an interview with a US Consulate. Make sure you schedule your interview early enough to avoid any unnecessary delay. You will receive your interview appointment letter after scheduling your interview.
4. Compile your document file
Ensure you compile the required documents we outlined in the requirements for L-2 Visa. At this stage of your registration, you should have all the required documents. Compile them for your visa interview.
5. Go for your interview
During the interview, be prepared to answer questions about your relationship with the L-1 Visa holder. You should expect questions like:
- How did you meet your spouse?
- When did you get married?
- What job do you do?
- Do you intend to work in the US?
- How long do you intend to stay in the US?
- Where does your spouse work?
- Can I see your wedding pictures?
How Long Does It Take To Process L-2 Visa?
After applying for an L-2 Visa, you might have to wait for 15 days or more for your visa application to be processed. The processing time for an L-2 visa differs from country to country.
Can L-2 Visa Holders Work in the US?
Only Spouses of L-1 Visa holders are permitted to work under the Employment Authorization Program. Children of L-1 Visa Holders are restricted from working in the US.
Spouses of L-1 visa holders can work if they file Form I-765 or get an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). With the EAD, an L-2 visa holder is allowed to work in any sector in the US.
To obtain an EAD, an L-2 Visa holder must submit the following documents to USCIS:
- Form I-765
- A copy of Form I-94
- 2 photographs
- Note that the EAD card is valid for 2 years. However, It can be renewed if the L-1 visa status is still valid.
- If your application is approved, you will also need to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN).
How Long Is L-2 Visa Valid?
The validity of your L-2 Visa depends on the validity of your spouse’s or your parent’s L-1 visa. For example, if your spouse’s or parent’s visa is valid for 5 years, it means your L-2 visa is also valid for 5 years. You can apply for an extension if your spouse or parent applies for an extension.
Can I Change My L-2 Visa Status?
L-2 Visa holders can apply for a change of their Visa status. If they find an employer who is willing to sponsor their visa, they can file for the type of visa in which they qualify. Although the process is not an easy one, it is possible to achieve.
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