Article

L2 Visa Process: Requirements and Application Procedures

The L2 Visa is a nonimmigrant visa category issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for eligible dependents of L1 Visa holders. Its primary purpose is to allow spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 to accompany or join their family members who hold an L1 Visa. L2 Visa holders may also apply for employment authorization to legally work in the United States.

This blog provides a comprehensive guide to the L2 Visa, covering topics such as the application process, eligibility requirements, employment authorization, visa interview, and more. Whether you’re a prospective applicant or seeking information for a family member, this guide aims to clarify the complexities of the L2 Visa and help you navigate the immigration process with confidence.

How to apply for the L2 Visa?

To apply for an L2 Visa, follow these step-by-step instructions:

  1. Gather Required Documents: Collect all necessary documents, including a valid passport, original birth certificate, marriage certificate (if applicable), employment verification letter of the L1 Visa holder, and any other supporting documents to prove the genuine family relationship.

  2. Complete Form DS-160: Fill out Form DS-160 online through the website of the U.S. Department of State. Ensure all information provided is accurate and up-to-date.

  3. Pay Visa Application Fee: Pay the visa application and visa reciprocity fees, which vary depending on the country and consulate/embassy where you apply. Keep the payment confirmation receipt for your records.

  4. Schedule Visa Interview: Schedule a visa interview appointment at the U.S. consulate or embassy in your home country. Appointment availability and scheduling procedures may vary, so check the specific instructions provided by the consulate.

  5. Attend Visa Interview: On the day of your interview, arrive at the consulate or embassy on time and bring all required documents. During the interview, a consular officer will review your application, verify your eligibility, and ask questions about your intended stay in the United States.

  6. Biometrics Appointment: In some cases, you may be required to attend a biometrics appointment to provide fingerprints and a photograph for identity verification purposes.

  7. Wait for Processing: After the interview and biometrics appointment (if applicable), wait for the processing of your visa application. Processing times may vary, but it typically takes several weeks.

  8. Receive Visa: If your application is approved, you will receive your L2 Visa stamped in your passport, allowing you to travel to the United States as a dependent of the L1 Visa holder.

It’s important to note that the application process may slightly differ depending on the specific consulate/embassy and country where you apply. Be sure to follow all instructions provided by the consulate/embassy and the USCIS to ensure a smooth application process.

What is the L-2 visa processing time?

The processing time for L-2 visas usually ranges from 15 days to 1 month. However, this timeframe can vary based on factors such as the workload of the embassy or consulate handling the application and individual circumstances. It’s essential for applicants to consider potential delays and plan accordingly. Additionally, staying informed about any updates or changes in processing times through the relevant embassy or consulate can help manage expectations during the application process.

How long is the L2 Visa valid for? 

The validity period of an L2 visa typically corresponds to the validity of the primary L1 visa holder’s visa. This means that the L2 visa holder can stay in the United States for the same duration as the L1 visa holder. Usually, L1 visas are granted for an initial period of up to three years, with the possibility of extensions in two-year increments, for a maximum total stay of seven years.

However, the specific validity period may vary depending on individual circumstances and visa regulations. It’s essential for L2 visa holders to adhere to the terms of their visa and seek extensions if necessary to avoid overstaying their authorized period of stay in the United States.

What are the requirements for the L2 Visa?

To qualify for an L2 visa, individuals must meet specific eligibility criteria set forth by U.S. immigration authorities. Here’s a breakdown of the requirements:

  1. Relationship to L1 Visa Holder: The primary requirement for an L2 visa is a genuine family relationship with the primary L1 visa holder. This includes being the spouse or unmarried child under 21 years of age.

  2. Valid Passport: Applicants must possess a valid passport that remains valid throughout their intended stay in the United States.

  3. Employment Authorization: While L2 visa holders are allowed to study in the U.S., they must obtain an employment authorization document (EAD) if they wish to work legally.

  4. Application Process: The application process involves completing Form DS-160, scheduling a visa interview, and paying the required visa application fee.

  5. Supporting Documents: Applicants must provide supporting documents, including the L1 visa holder’s approval notice, marriage certificate (if applicable), and proof of relationship with the L1 visa holder.

  6. Financial Support: L2 visa applicants may need to demonstrate sufficient financial support to cover their expenses during their stay in the U.S.

  7. Medical Examination: In some cases, applicants may be required to undergo a medical examination as part of the visa application process.

Meeting these requirements is crucial for obtaining an L2 visa and legally residing in the United States as a dependent of the primary L1 visa holder. Applicants should consult with immigration professionals or legal experts for personalized guidance on their specific situation.

What documents need to be included in the application?

When applying for an L2 visa, it’s crucial to submit the required documents to support your application. Here’s a comprehensive list of documents typically needed:

  1. Valid Passport: A passport valid for travel to the United States with a validity period extending beyond the intended period of stay.

  2. Form DS-160 Confirmation Page: A printed confirmation page from the online DS-160 application form, indicating completion of the visa application.

  3. Passport-Style Photograph: Recent passport-style color photograph meeting specific requirements regarding size, format, and background.

  4. L1 Visa Holder’s Documents: Copies of the L1 visa holder’s passport, visa, and approval notice (Form I-797).

  5. Marriage Certificate (If Applicable): If applying as the spouse of the L1 visa holder, a copy of the marriage certificate to establish that a genuine family relationship exists.

  6. Birth Certificate (For Unmarried Children): If applying as an unmarried child under 21 years of age, a copy of the birth certificate to prove the relationship with the L1 visa holder.

  7. Employment Authorization Document (EAD): If intending to work in the U.S., an EAD is required to demonstrate eligibility for employment.

  8. Financial Documentation: Evidence of financial support, such as bank statements or sponsorship letters, to cover expenses during the stay in the U.S.

  9. Other Supporting Documents: Additional documents may include proof of residence abroad, educational qualifications, and any relevant certificates or letters.

  10. Visa Application Fee: Payment receipt or proof of payment for the visa application fee.

By ensuring all necessary documents are included and accurately prepared, applicants can strengthen their L2 visa application and increase the likelihood of approval. It’s advisable to consult with immigration professionals or legal experts for guidance tailored to individual circumstances.

 What questions will I be asked during the L2 Visa interview?

During the L2 Visa interview, applicants can expect a range of questions aimed at assessing their eligibility and intentions for visiting the United States. Some common interview questions include:

  1. Purpose of Visit: The consular officer may inquire about the purpose of your visit to the U.S. and your intended activities during your stay.

  2. Relationship with the L1 Visa Holder: Questions may be asked to confirm the relationship with the primary L1 visa holder, such as marital status and duration of marriage.

  3. Employment Status: You may be asked about your current employment status and whether you intend to work in the U.S. on an L2 visa.

  4. Duration of Stay: The officer might inquire about the intended duration of your stay in the U.S. and your plans for returning to your home country.

  5. Financial Resources: Questions may be asked about your financial resources and how you plan to support yourself during your stay in the U.S.

  6. Education and Background: You may be asked about your educational background and qualifications.

  7. Intent to Maintain Nonimmigrant Status: The officer may seek assurance that you intend to maintain nonimmigrant status and comply with the terms of your visa.

To prepare for the interview, it’s essential to review your application thoroughly, understand the purpose of your visit, and be ready to provide clear and honest answers to the officer’s questions. Additionally, familiarize yourself with the required documents and ensure you have them readily available for presentation during the interview.

Can I work on the L2 Visa?

Yes, you can work on an L2 Visa, but you’ll need to obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) first. Once you have the EAD, you’re eligible for open market employment authorization, allowing you to work in any job, including part-time or full-time employment, for any employer in the United States. However, it’s important to note that your employment is contingent upon the validity period of your L2 visa and the accompanying EAD.

To apply for an EAD, you’ll need to submit Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization) to the USCIS. Along with the form, you’ll also need to provide supporting documents, such as your valid passport, visa, marriage certificate (to prove your relationship with the L1 visa holder), and any other required documentation.

Once approved, your EAD will specify the dates during which you’re authorized to work in the U.S. Make sure to abide by the terms and conditions outlined in the EAD to maintain your legal status. If you have any questions or concerns about your employment authorization, consulting with an immigration lawyer or USCIS officials can provide clarification.

 Can I change my status on an L-2 visa? 

Yes, it is possible to change your status while on an L-2 visa under certain circumstances. If you meet the eligibility criteria for another visa category and wish to change your status, you can file a petition with the USCIS to request the change.

To change your status, you’ll need to submit Form I-539 (Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status) along with supporting documents, such as your valid passport, visa, Form I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record), and any other required documentation specific to the visa category you’re applying for.

It’s important to note that changing your status may have implications for your employment authorization. If you’re currently working on an EAD obtained through your L-2 visa, you may need to apply for a new EAD if your status change is approved.

Before initiating the process, it’s advisable to consult with an immigration lawyer to ensure you understand the eligibility requirements, implications, and procedures involved in changing your visa status. Additionally, USCIS regulations and processing times may vary, so it’s essential to stay informed throughout the process.

Can I go from an L-2 visa to Green Card? 

Transitioning from an L-2 visa to a Green Card (permanent residency) is possible, but it involves a multi-step process. Typically, it begins with the L-2 visa holder’s spouse (the L-1 visa holder) sponsoring them for permanent residency. This sponsorship is often through an employment-based immigrant petition, such as the Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, filed by the employer.

Once the Form I-140 is approved, the L-2 visa holder can apply for adjustment of status (Form I-485) to register permanent residence and become a lawful permanent resident. Along with the Form I-485, they must submit supporting documents, including proof of identity, marital relationship, medical examination, and financial support.

If the L-2 visa holder’s priority date is current, they may concurrently file Form I-485 and Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization) and Form I-131 (Application for Travel Document) to obtain work authorization and travel permission while their Green Card application is pending.

It’s important to note that eligibility criteria, processing times, and requirements may vary, and seeking guidance from an immigration lawyer or qualified consultant is advisable to navigate the process effectively. Additionally, maintaining valid status and compliance with immigration regulations throughout the transition process is crucial.

Conclusion

Obtaining an L2 visa involves understanding its application process, duration, employment options, and potential pathways to permanent residency. Key requirements include a valid passport, employment authorization documents, and supporting evidence of familial relationships. Preparation for the visa interview and compliance with immigration regulations are vital for a successful application.

For Singaporeans seeking guidance on US immigration matters, consulting experienced US immigration lawyers for Singaporeans can provide invaluable assistance. Additionally, for those navigating the complexities of the L-1 visa, specialized L-1 visa lawyers offer tailored legal support to ensure a smooth visa application process.

By adhering to the outlined steps and seeking professional advice when needed, individuals can effectively navigate the L2 visa journey and pursue their aspirations in the United States.

Jeremy Abernathy

9 January 2024

I had the pleasure of working with Verdie and Nessa to obtain my E2 Visa. Their in-depth knowledge and experience allowed me to be fully prepared in my application and they were able to answer all questions leading up to the Visa interview.

Saeed Muhammad

15 December 2023

Verdie was an amazing attorney, providing exceptional client care throughout the process. He had a great depth of knowledge in all areas on business visas in the US.

Satya Choudhury

20 September 2023

I had a great experience with Davies & Associates. They are very thorough in the approach and their have experts in this field who know the domain very well.I would certainly be leaning onto them for any future needs as well.

Hoshino Ryuichi

12 September 2023

Thanks to them for handling my E2 visa very professionally. I had a study visa from F1 and changed it to E2. I encountered many problems during the application process. Verdie and Etta were very patient in helping me and it took a long time. I highly recommend this place.

Picture of Us Immigration Lawyers
Us Immigration Lawyers
This is some biographical information.

Table of Contents

This article is published for clients, friends and other interested visitors for information purposes only. The contents of the article do not constitute legal advice and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Davies & Associates or any of its attorneys, staff or clients. External links are not an endorsement of the content.

Looking to acquire a U.S Visa?
To date, we have helped hundreds of families move to the United States and elsewhere, including the United Kingdom, Turkey, Grenada, Portugal and Italy.


We are known for our creative solutions that obtain "impossible" visas, we solve the most complex immigration problems for business, investors, individuals and families. Have a question or would like to discuss your visa requirements?