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L-2 Visas: Spouses & Children of L Visa Holders

Spouses and children (under the age of 21) of L visa holders may apply for an L-2 visa in order to accompany or follow the principal applicant to the United States. Derivative applicants are generally granted L-2 status for the duration of the principal applicant’s L-1 status.

If these family members are already in the United States and seeking a change of status to or extension of stay in the L-2 classification, they may apply collectively on Form I-539. Spouses of L-1 workers may apply for work authorization by filing Form I-765 (with the appropriate fee and supporting documents). If approved, there is no specific restriction as to where the L-2 spouse may work.

1As per the USCIS website, ” Executive capacity generally refers to the employee’s ability to make decisions of wide latitude without much oversight. Managerial capacity generally refers to the ability of the employee to supervise and control the work of professional employees and to manage the organization, or a department, subdivision, function or component of the organization. It may also refer to the employee’s ability to manage an essential function of the organization at a high level, without direct supervision of others. See section 101(a)(44) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended, and 8 CFR 214.2(l)(1)(ii) for more complete definitions.”

2As per the USCIS website, ” specialized knowledge means special knowledge possessed by an individual of the petitioning organization’s product, service, research, equipment, techniques, management, or other interests and its application in international markets, or expertise in the organization’s processes and procedures. (See 8 CFR 214.2(l)(1)(ii)(D).) Such knowledge is beyond the ordinary and not commonplace within the industry or the petitioning organization. In other words, the employee must be more than simply skilled or familiar with the employer’s interests.”