An L2 visa is a non-immigrant visa, but despite this you still enjoy a wide variety of benefits in the time you are in the U.S. Read on to learn more about the USA L2 Visa.
What is an L2 Visa?
L2 visas are also known as L1 dependent visas granted to the spouses and dependents of L1 visa holders. Through this visa, the dependents are eligible to enter and stay in the country.
Who is it for?
- The eligible family members are the spouse and children of the L1 visa holder.
- The dependent children’s age should be below 21 years.
What can you do with it?
- Live legally in the U.S. on a temporary basis.
- Attend school or study full-time in the U.S.
- Work part-time or full-time once approved for an EAD
- Transfer to another non-immigrant status like F-1, B-1/B-2, H-1, and L-1
- Ability to travel in and out of the U.S. on brief international trips.
What are the eligibility requirements for an L2 visa?
In order to apply for the L2 visa, the eligibility requirements for spouses and children are:
- The visa holder should be a dependent spouse of an L1 visa
- The visa is issued for the dependents and children who are unmarried and are at the age group of 21 years of age
- Under this visa, parents are not eligible to apply. And, the L1 visa holders who plan to bring their parents to the country need to help them in applying for the US visitor visa.
What are the required documents for an L2 visa?
While applying for the L2 visa, it is crucial for the applicant to meet the required documents checklist. Below find the required documents checklist:
- After filling the DS-160 online, there will be a confirmation page seen after filling the required eligibility requirements. Take a CEAC barcode printout of this.
- US visa application fee document
- The interview appointment letter as received by the US during the time of the US visa interview
- Should submit photographs that are of sizes 2 and 2 inches square showing the full-face of the applicant. Within the photos, there shouldn’t be head covered, against a light background must be used in the application form
- The consulates are much particular about the specifications of the photos. Hence, it is mandatory to follow the guidelines while applying for the US visa
- For the visa issuance fee, a demand draft has to be submitted
- If the applicant is below the age of 14, then an original birth certificate of the dependent child has to be submitted
- Original marriage certificate
- Complete wedding album
- A copy of the marriage invitation card
- Passport and the valid pages and validity
- A letter declaring the purpose of visit
- L1 visa holder’s employment verification letter
- Copy of L1 visa holder’s income tax return
- Need to provide a demand draft for the visa issuance fee
How to apply for the L2 Visa?
In order to apply for the L2 visa, the required steps to apply for the visa are mentioned below:
Step 1: Complete the DS-160 Online Application
The candidate needs to apply for the visa by submitting the DS-160 Form along with the recent passport-size photographs. It is essential for the candidate to take a print of the DS-160 Form confirmation. While taking a print, it has to be taken care that the DEAC barcode is also taken into the picture. You will need this barcode during your interview.
Step 2: Pay the Application Fee
You will need to complete your DS-160 with an application fee. The basic application fee is $160, and there may be additional charges depending on your country of origin
Step 3: Schedule Visa Appointments: Interview and Biometrics
You will need to book two visa appointments—one for biometrics and the other for the interview. You will be given a date for your visa interview at the embassy or consulate.
Step 4: Submit your Documents
- Valid passport
- Passport-style photo. See the Department of State’s guidelines surrounding passport photos.
- Original marriage certificate
- Marriage photographs of both you and husband/wife
- Wedding photos
- For children, you will need the original birth certificate for each dependent
- Written approval of the primary L-1 holder (parent or spouse)
- Your academic qualification certificates, according to what you entered in your DS-160
- Your spouse’s (L-1 holder’s) employment verification letter
- Copy of your L-1 spouse’s I-194 (if already in the U.S.)
- Copy of your L-1 spouse’s petition approval notice issued by the USCIS
- Some copies of L-1 spouse’s salary payslips (if he or she is already working in the U.S.)
- Copy of L-1 spouse’s current tax returns (if any)
- L-1 holder’s I-797 form
- Visa application fee
- Visas issuance fee
Step 5: Attend the Biometrics Appointment
You will need to attend a biometrics appointment at the Visa Application Center. This appointment involves the collection of your fingerprints, photos, and other information needed by the immigration officials. This must be done before your interview and you cannot have both your biometrics and interview fixed on the same date.
Step 6: Attend the L-2 Visa Interview
To establish that all the claims made in your application are genuine, you will be asked some general and personal questions to determine your eligibility. The questions are mainly to verify if a genuine husband-wife or parent-child relationship exists between you and the L-1 visa holder. Ensure you answer all the questions truthfully, as dishonesty will not only lose you the visa, but it may also result in a temporary or even permanent barring from entry into the U.S.
You should be granted a visa, as long as you meet all the criteria.
Cost for L2 Visa:
The L2 visa application fee for each applicant is $190 USD.
What is the processing time for the L2 visa?
After submitting the application with the needful documents, it is important to follow each step carefully while applying for the visa. Usually, the processing time for the L2 visas is from 15 days to 1 month. However, it basically depends upon the workload of the Embassy and other factors.
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The benefits which can be achieved for the spouse and children with the L2 visa include:
- Right to live in the country
- Dependent children can attend schools in the US
- Spouse is eligible to work either full-time or part-time after obtaining the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
- Eligible to apply for other non-immigrant visas such as H1, F1, B1, B2, and L1 visas
- Can apply for immigrant visas
- Can travel within and outside of the country for short and return trips
What is the validity of a L2 visa?
The initial period of stay for L-1 visa holders is three years with the option to extend the stay until the total validity has been reached. If your spouse or parent is an L-1A holder, you will be able to stay in the U.S for a total of seven years on an L-2 visa. For L-1B dependents, the maximum is five years.
How will the visa help to work in the country?
This is popularly known as the L2 work permit and states the applicant to work in the United States. With an approved EAD, the L2 visa holder is allowed to work in the US. The step which have to be followed by the L2 visa holder for obtaining the work permit are:
- Need to file for the EAD card
- Should submit the application for obtaining the Social Security Number
- Eligible to apply for part-time or full-time work in the US
Generally, the EAD card has a validity of 2 years. It can be renewed until the applicant remains in the same L2 visa status. The applicant is eligible to file the Form I-539, EAD application, Application to Extend or change nonimmigrant status together. And, the dependent children who are on the L2 visa status are not eligible for applying for the EAD status.
Is there any possibility to change the status with an L2 visa?
The L2 visa is a dependent visa type. Though changing from one visa to another is a hurdle in the United States, it is not so difficult even.
- If you qualify for the eligibility requirements of an L1 visa, you are eligible to apply for this visa type separately. And, if you have a qualified employer to sponsor you, then you are eligible to apply for the H1B visa.
- If the spouse or parent plans to change their visa status, such as to H1B, then the dependents can obtain the H4 dependents visa.
- Also, in order to renew the L2 visa, it can be possible when the L1 visa holder renews with the US conditions. And, this status can be renewed only in the United States of America.
Can the Green card be achieved for the L2 visa candidate?
Yes, it can. As this visa is connected with the L1 visa holder, if the L1 visa holder applied for the Green Card, then the dependents are equivalently eligible to apply for Green card.
- The L1 visas are dual intent visas. There is no need to submit the proofs declaring your intention to return home or show strong ties for the home country.
- Therefore, if the L1 visa holder applies for employment with the green card, the dependents will be allowed to join along by submitting the required relevant documents.