Following the settlement of a USCIS lawsuit that finally recognized that dependent L and E spouses are able to work lawfully incident to their status, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) updated its admission system to designate on the I-94 admission records those spouses who are authorized to work without applying for an EAD.
L and E spouses should be admitted with an “S” after their status to indicate that they are spouses authorized to work. new I-94s do not explicitly state “work authorized”, but the “S” designation indicates to employers for I-9 purposes that they are authorized to work for the validity of their I-94s.
When they apply for extensions of their visa status with USCIS, the new I-94s issued as part of the extension approval process will also show the “S” designation. Those L and E spouses already in the United States without the S designation on their I-94s will still need to apply for EADs to work lawfully, or depart and return with a valid visa to obtain the new I-94 with the work-authorized designation. However, some CBP Deferred Inspection offices have been willing to update the system upon request so that the I-94 contains the “S” designation.
Please let us know if you need to contact the CBP deferred inspection for your last U.S. entry. We are happy to assist you.
Once corrected, your I-94 can be printed from the CBP webpage here: CBP Webpage.
L and E spouses entering the United States should review their I-94s after each entry to ensure that they contain the “S” designation. If not, you can contact Deferred Inspection office for correction. Please contact our office for more information.