Do spouse and children of the L-1 visa holder qualify for the National Interest Exception according to the June 22, 2020 Executive Order?
If the L-1 applicant is granted National Interest Exception under the June 22, 2020 Executive Order, then his or her spouse and children can accompany the L-1 applicant in the United States on an L-2 visa under the same National Interest Exception.
The spouse and children of the L-1 applicant who has been granted a National Interest Exception can join the L-1 applicant on an L-2 visa under the National Interest Exception. For example, if on September 5, 2020, Leo, a citizen of Egypt is granted an L-1 visa at the US Embassy in Cairo under the National Interest Exception to come to the US as a healthcare professional to alleviate the effects of COVID-19, then Leo’s wife and his children can also apply for an L-2 visa. The wife and children can obtain an L-2 visa the same day as Leo and they will be granted an L-2 visa under the same national interest exception for healthcare providers as Leo.
It is important to keep in mind that the spouse of an L-1 visa holder who obtains an L-2 visa under the National Interest Exception pursuant to the June 22, 2020 Executive Order is not automatically entitled to work in the United Stated once he or she is admitted into the US. Instead, the L-1 dependent spouse must apply for work authorization once he or she is in the United States. If the work permit is approved, then there are restrictions as to where L-2 spouse can work.
The spouse and children do not need a national interest exception and can apply for the L-2 visa without exceptions if the spouse holding the L-1 visa was in the US on June 24, 2020 or had the L-1 visa stamp in the passport at that time.
Please note that if the L-1 applicant is not subject to the June 22, 2020 Executive Order –in other words, the primary applicant was in the United States or already had an L-1 visa stamp in his or her passport on June 24, 2020 – then the spouse and children are also not subject to executive order and do not need a national interest exception and can obtain the L-2 visa. For example, if Leo from Egypt was physically present in the United States, working in Texas on an L-1 visa on June 24, 2020, or he was in Egypt or elsewhere outside the US but he had an L-1 visa stamp in his passport on June 24, 2020, then he is not subject to the National Interest Exceptions provided in the June 22, 2020 Executive Order and can travel on the L-1 Visa. Because Leo had the L-1 visa in his passport or he was in the US on June 24, 2020, then his wife and children are not subject to the National Interest Exceptions and can apply for an L-2 visa following the regular process.
How can Malescu Law help?
At Malescu Law, our business immigration attorneys in Miami, Florida can prepare and file the L-2 application and provide guidance with qualifying for the National Interest Exceptions and application at the US Consulate and Embassy abroad and assist with procedure to request an expedite emergency appointment.
Malescu Law P.A. – Business & Immigration Lawyers