● What is the L2 Visa?
● How to apply for the L2 Visa?
● How long is the L2 Visa valid for?
● What are the requirements for the L2 Visa?
● What documents need to be included in the application?
● What questions will I be asked during the L2 Visa interview?
● Can I work on the L2 Visa?
● How can IAS help?
What is the L2 Visa?
Spouses and children of L1 Visa holders can come to the US with them on the L2 Visa. To be eligible for the L2 Visa spouses have to be legally married to individuals coming to the US on the L1 Visa and 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.
The L1 Visa is intended to facilitate the temporary transfer of individuals employed abroad to a US branch or a US-based subsidiary of the company they work for. Once the L1 Visa is granted, foreign workers can continue employment with this firm in the US.
If the L2 Visa application is successful, spouses coming to the US can apply for an Employment Authorization Document and also work in the US. It is possible to submit the application for it as soon as you arrive in the country. After the application is approved by USCIS, you can start looking for employment.
How to apply for the L2 Visa?
If you are a spouse or unmarried child under the age of 21 of an L1 visa holder and you want to apply for the L2 visa, you need to:
- Complete the DS-160 Online Non-immigrant Visa Application. This is the first step required to initiate the application process. Once you fill in all the information that the form asks for, you will receive a confirmation page. Make sure to print it out and keep it as you will need to show it during the visa interview at a later stage of the application process.
- Pay the Application Fee. To complete and submit the DS-160 form, you will have to pay the application fee of $160. Sometimes you might also have to pay additional fees, depending on where you come from.
- Schedule a visa interview at a US embassy or consulate in your home country. It is an essential part of the application process. Without the interview, you will not be able to receive your visa and travel to the US.
- Schedule and attend the biometrics appointment. During the appointment officials working at the Visa Application Centre will collect your fingerprints, photos, and other information that might be required by immigration officers. You need to attend the biometrics appointment before you go to your visa interview. It is not possible to have both of them scheduled on the same date.
- Attend your visa interview. Once you have had your biometrics taken, you can attend your L2 visa interview. The purpose of it is to verify whether the information you included in your application is genuine. The interview usually lasts no longer than 20 minutes.
If you meet the eligibility criteria and all the information you provided in the application is true, you can expect a positive outcome. In most cases, if your visa is approved, the consular officer will inform you about it right after the interview. You can expect to receive your L2 visa within 10 business days after the date of your interview.
How long is the L2 Visa valid for?
If your application for the L2 Visa is successful, your visa will be valid as long as your relative’s L1 Visa lasts. That means that you can stay in the US as long as the L1 Visa holder has permission to be there. Once receive your L2 Visa, you will be able to leave and renter the US as many times as you want.
Generally, the L1 Visa is valid for up to three years with the possibility of getting additional two-year extensions with a maximum of five to seven years. The maximum duration of the L1 visa depends on the type of your relative’s employment.
After that, the L1 visa holder needs to leave the US and spend at least one year outside of the country before applying for a new US visa. The same applies to L2 visa holders.
If you want to stay in the US longer than the validity of your L2 visa, you might be able to switch to a different type of visa, for example, the F1 Student Visa, before this one expires. Additionally, if you have received the Employment Authorization Document, you can ask your US employer to sponsor you for the H-1B Visa for highly skilled professionals.
If your relative who is a holder of the L1 Visa changes their visa category while you are in the US on the L2 Visa, your status will also change. If you received the Employment Authorization Document on the L2 Visa, you will need to apply for it again when you change to a different status.
What are the requirements for the L2 Visa?
The L2 Visa is designed for dependents of L1 visa holders. Only those who’s relative is currently in the US on the L1 permit are eligible for the L2 Visa. To be eligible for the L2 Visa one of the following statements must apply to you:
● You are legally married to an L1 Visa holder
● You are an unmarried child under the age of 21 of an L1 Visa holder.
This is the main requirement for the L2 Visa. If you do not fall under either one of these categories but you want to come to the US to be with your loved one, you might consider applying for a different US visa. For example, you could apply for the B2 Tourist Visitor Visa instead. If your application is successful, you will be able to come to the US for holidays but you would not be able to work while being there.
What documents need to be included in the application?
To be able to proceed with your L2 visa application, you will have to submit the following documents:
● A valid passport
● A passport-style photo
● An original marriage or birth certificate
● Additional proof of your relationship with the L1 visa holder such as photographs
● A copy of your relative’s approved petition for the L1 visa
● The employment letter of your relative who holds the L1 visa
● Payslips of your relative who holds the L1 visa if they are already working in the US
● The confirmation of having paid the visa application fee
If you fail to include these documents, your visa application might be delayed or even rejected. If you are unsure what documents are required, seek advice from our expert immigration lawyers. They will help you prepare a portfolio of evidence, making sure that your application is complete.
What questions will I be asked during the L2 Visa interview?
There is no one set list of questions that L2 Visa applications are asked during the visa interview. Nevertheless, you can expect to hear questions regarding your personal information, the type of your relationship with the L1 visa holder, the financial situation of you and your spouse, any previous trips to the US, any children you might have, the purpose of your visit to the US, or your education and qualifications.
If you are applying for the L2 Visa to join your spouse, during the interview the immigration officer might also ask you to show them photographs of you and your partner, your wedding cards, your shared lease, or any other evidence confirming the authenticity of your relationship.
You should answer all questions truthfully as lying during the visa interview can result in your L2 Visa application being rejected. If you are stressed about the interview, talk to our immigration lawyers. They can explain to you what you can expect from the appointment and can help you prepare for your interview.
Can I work on the L2 Visa?
When you are granted the L2 Visa, you do not automatically receive the right to work in the US. Nevertheless, you can apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) right after you arrive in the country. If your application for it is successful, you will be able to apply for jobs and legally work in the US. In addition to EAD, you will also need to obtain a Social Security Number.
As long as you have an approved EAD, you can work in any profession you would like as EAD represents an open market employment authorisation. Nevertheless, the relative who is in the US on the L1 visa can only work for the employer that filed the petition starting the visa application.
Your EAD is only valid for two years but if you maintain your L2 visa status longer than that, you will be able to apply for a renewal.
How can IAS help?
Here at IAS, our team of immigration lawyers specialises in helping individuals apply for all kinds of US visas, including the L2 Visa.
Our expert immigration lawyers can help you make the process of applying for the L2 Visa straightforward and stress-free. They will assess your eligibility for the L2 Visa and if they assert that you meet the requirements for it, they will help you start the application.
If you hire one of our immigration lawyers, you will have access to expert advice and support from the very beginning until the end of the process. Thanks to the help of an immigration lawyer, you can be sure that you have included all the necessary documents and that you did not make any mistakes in the application.
Our lawyers will prepare a Letter of Representation for you, which can enhance your application and increase the chances of your L2 Visa application being successful. They will also liaise with USCIS on your behalf, saving you time and effort. We offer a premium service that takes into consideration the individual needs of each client.
Call us today on +1 844 290 6312 to find out more about how we can help with your visa application.
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Individuals who receive the L2 Visa can enrol and study as a US school on either a part-time or full-time basis. Sometimes as an L2 visa holder you might be eligible for in-state tuition fees that tend to be lower than the regular tuition rates.
Once your application for the L2 Visa is successful, you will be able to come to the US and enjoy many benefits that include being able to:
● Study part or full-time at a US institution
● Work part or full-time provided that you obtain the Employment Authorization Document
● Travel around the US
● Travel to other countries and come back to the US once your L2 Visa is valid
● Open a US bank account
● Switch to a different US visa.
While in the US on the L2 Visa, you might be able to seek an adjustment of status and apply for a US Green Card that would allow you to settle in the US permanently.
Most L2 visa applications are processed within 30 days after submitting all the required documents and attending the visa interview. If the US Consulate or Embassy where you are applying is dealing with a large number of visa applications and appointments, you might have to wait longer.
Most L2 Visa applications have a positive outcome as they are designed to prevent the separation of L1 visa holders from their loved ones. Nevertheless, if you fail to include some of the required documents or you like in the application and the immigration officials discover it, your L2 Visa might be denied.