Can L2 Visa Holder Work in the USA? A Comprehensive Guide for 2023

If you are a spouse or a child of an L1 visa holder, you might be wondering if you can work in the USA on an L2 visa.

The L2 is a dependent visa that allows you to accompany your family member who has an L1 visa, which is a type of work visa for intra-company transferees.

The good news is that as an L2 visa holder, you can work in the USA with proper authorization from the USCIS.

L2 Visa Holder Work in the USA
L2 Visa Holder Work in the USA


In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about working on an L2 visa, including the eligibility, application process, benefits, and limitations.

Eligibility for Working on an L2 Visa

To be eligible for working on an L2 visa, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be a spouse or an unmarried child under 21 years of age of an L1 visa holder.
  • You must have a valid L2 and a valid passport.
  • You must apply for and obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from the USCIS.

Application Process for Working on an L2 Visa

The application process for working on an L2 visa involves the following steps:

  • Fill out Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, online or by mail. You will need to provide information about yourself, your spouse or parent who has the L1 visa, and your employment plans. You will also need to pay a filing fee of $410.
  • Submit the required supporting documents along with your Form I-765. These include:
    • A copy of your Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, showing your admission as an L2 nonimmigrant.
    • A copy of your L2 visa and passport.
    • A copy of your marriage certificate or birth certificate to prove your relationship to the L1 visa holder.
    • Two passport-style photos of yourself.
    • A copy of your spouse’s or parent’s Form I-797, Notice of Action, showing their approval of the L1 visa.
    • Any other documents that may be requested by the USCIS.
  • Wait for the USCIS to process your application and send you a notice of approval or denial. The processing time may vary depending on the workload of the USCIS office handling your case, but it usually takes about 3 to 5 months. You can check the status of your application online using the receipt number provided by the USCIS.
  • Receive your EAD card in the mail. The EAD card is a plastic card that shows your name, photo, date of birth, and expiration date. It also has a category code of A-18 or C-26, indicating that you are authorized to work as an L2 dependent. The validity period of your EAD card will match the validity period of your L2 visa and your spouse’s or parent’s L1 visa.

Benefits of Working on an L2 Visa

Working on an L2 visa has several benefits, such as:

  • You can work for any employer in any legal job or business in the USA, part-time or full-time, online or offline, from home or remotely. You do not need a specific job offer or sponsorship from an employer to apply for an EAD.
  • You can earn income and contribute to your family’s finances and well-being.
  • You can gain valuable work experience and skills in the US labor market.
  • You can pursue your career goals and interests without being dependent on your spouse’s or parent’s employment situation.

READ ALSO: Are H4 Visa Holders Allowed to Work in the US?

Limitations of Working on an L2 Visa

Working on an L2 visa also has some limitations, such as:

  • You cannot work in the USA until you receive your EAD card from the USCIS. Working without authorization is illegal and may result in penalties or deportation.
  • You cannot work beyond the expiration date of your EAD card, unless you apply for and receive a renewal before it expires. The renewal process is similar to the initial application process and may take several months.
  • You cannot work if your spouse or parent loses their L1 status or leaves the USA. Your work authorization is dependent on their status as an L1 visa holder.
  • You cannot transfer your work authorization to another nonimmigrant status, such as H-1B or F-1. If you want to change your status, you will need to apply for a new work authorization based on the new status.


Working on an L2 visa is a great opportunity for spouses and children of L1 visa holders who want to join their family members in the USA and pursue their own careers.

However, it also requires following certain rules and procedures to obtain and maintain a valid work authorization from the USCIS.

By understanding the eligibility, application process, benefits, and limitations of working on an L2 visa, you can make informed decisions and avoid any potential problems.

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