On November 21, 2021, dependent spouses under the E and L categories were declared under USCIS policy to be employment authorized without having to apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). To reflect this position, as of January 30, 2022, USCIS and CBP started issuing I-94’s with a code designating that the I-94 is acceptable as a List C document for employers to accept as proof of employment authorization. However, those without the new I-94’s were missing evidence of their employment authorization, unless they were in possession of an EAD. This caused many employers and employees to be in a state of confusion as to how to properly comply with the I-9 compliance requirements.
In light of this confusion, as of April 1, 2022, USCIS has begun mailing notices to spouses who are maintaining status on E and L based on a previously filed I-539. This notice along with their unexpired I-94’s will serve as evidence of their employment authorization. USCIS has indicated that those that have not received their notices by April 30, 2022 should email email@example.com to request one.