What is an L2 Visa?
An L2 visa is a type of nonimmigrant visa issued by the United States to spouses and children of individuals who have been issued an L1 visa. The L2 visa allows these family members to travel to the U.S. and reside in the country while their spouse or parent is in the U.S. on an L1 visa. It also allows these family members to apply for permission to work in the U.S. and to attend school in the U.S., provided they meet the qualifications for admission.
Who Qualifies for L2 Visa?
The L2 visa is a type of nonimmigrant visa that allows a U.S. employer to transfer an employee and their family members to work in the United States. To be eligible for an L2 visa, the employee must meet the following criteria:
1. The employee must be the spouse or minor child of an L1 visa holder.
2. The employee must be employed by a company that is related to the company that employs the L1 visa holder.
3. The employee must have the same nationality as the L1 visa holder.
4. The employee must have specific skills that are needed to fulfill a role in the United States.
5. The employee must have proof of a valid passport and other necessary documents to complete the visa application process.
6. The employee must have sufficient funds to cover their costs and those of any family members accompanying them to the U.S.
7. The employee must be able to demonstrate their intent to stay in the U.S. temporarily and not permanently.
How to Apply for L2 Visa?
Applying for an L2 visa is a fairly straightforward process. To apply for an L2 visa, applicants must first file Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Along with the completed form, applicants must also include the following documents:
1. A copy of your valid passport
2. Evidence of your relationship to the principal L1 visa holder (e.g. marriage certificate, birth certificate)
3. Proof that you intend to stay in the U.S. temporarily (e.g., employment contract or other evidence showing the length of your intended stay)
4. Evidence that you have financial resources to support yourself while in the U.S. (e.g., bank statements, tax returns, etc.)
Once USCIS approves Form I-129, the applicant must then complete Form DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Application online and submit it to the Department of State’s National Visa Center (NVC). After completing Form DS-160 and submitting it to NVC, the applicant will receive an e-mail from NVC confirming that the application has been received. After the application is processed by the NVC, the applicant will be scheduled for an interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad. At this interview, the applicant will need to provide all required documentation as well as answer questions related to their application. If approved, the applicant will be issued an L2 visa stamp in their passport and can travel to the U.S. to begin their authorized stay.
What is the L2 Visa Interview Process?
The L2 visa interview process is a complex one that requires preparation and understanding of the underlying requirements. Typically, the visa applicant will be interviewed by a U.S. consular officer at a U.S. consulate or embassy abroad. The consular officer will ask questions to determine the applicant’s eligibility for an L2 visa.
The applicant must prove that:
* They have a valid relationship with their accompanying L1 visa holder (such as a spouse or child).
* They intend to remain in the United States temporarily and that they have strong ties to their home country.
* They are not intending to stay in the United States permanently and that they plan to leave once their purpose for visiting is completed.
The consular officer will also want to ensure that the L2 visa applicant has adequate financial resources to support themselves while in the United States and can prove they have access to those resources. Additionally, the consular officer may ask questions regarding the individual’s background and character.
The consular officer may also ask questions related to the visa applicant’s current employer, education, and experience during the interview. To help prepare for this process, it is important that L2 visa applicants research what typical questions are asked during an L2 visa interview and practice responding.
It is also important to remember that applicants attending an L2 visa interview should dress appropriately, bring all necessary documentation such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, passports, and financial documents, and answer all questions truthfully.
What are the Required Documents for L2 Visa?
The required documents for an L2 visa depend on the individual’s specific situation. Generally, the following documents are required:
1. A valid passport and a copy of its biographical page.
2. A valid I-94 Arrival/Departure Record.
3. Two passport-style photographs.
4. A copy of the L1 visa holder’s visa, passport and I-94.
5. Copies of marriage and/or birth certificates related to the relationship between the L1 and L2 visa holders.
6. Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, and the applicable fee.
7. Evidence that the L1 visa holder is maintaining his/her status, such as pay stubs, as well as proof of maintenance of residence in the U.S. (e.g., rental agreement, mortgage documents).
8. A cover letter detailing the background of the parties and the purpose for filing for the L2 visa.
9. Evidence that the L2 visa holder is eligible to enter the U.S., such as a job offer letter or evidence of studies at an accredited university or college in the U.S., if applicable.
10. Any other documentary evidence considered to be relevant to the case, including evidence of strong social and economic ties to home country and/or evidence of funds available for support for both parties in the U.S.
What is the L2 Visa Fee?
The L2 visa fee is determined by the U.S. Department of State and varies depending on the age of the applicant and the visa classification. The fee for an L2 visa is currently $265 for applicants aged 14 or older, and $190 for applicants aged 13 or younger. The fee must be paid in U.S. dollars, either as a money order, cashier’s check, or personal check drawn on a U.S. bank, or by credit card using Form DS-160.
What is the L2 Visa Processing Time?
The L2 visa processing time depends on a variety of factors, including the applicant’s country of origin, the processing times at the particular visa office handling the application and the efficiency of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Generally speaking, the visa processing time for an L2 visa can range from one to six months, depending on the above factors.
L2 Visa Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is an L2 visa?
An L2 visa is a type of U.S. visa that allows the spouse or minor children of a foreign national holding an L1 visa to accompany that individual to the United States. The spouse or children of the L1 visa holder are eligible to apply for an L2 visa and, if approved, to enter the United States with that individual.
2. How long is an L2 visa valid for?
An L2 visa is generally valid for two years, though it may be limited to less than two years based on the length of the L1 visa held by the principal applicant. It may also be extended for a longer period of time in two-year increments, provided that the principal applicant’s L1 visa remains valid.
3. Are family members eligible for work authorization with an L2 visa?
Yes, spouses of L1 visa holders are eligible to apply for employment authorization in the United States. This allows them to legally work and earn an income in the United States. Minor children of L1 visa holders are not eligible for work authorization, but may be able to attend school in the United States if they meet certain eligibility requirements.
4. Are there any restrictions on travel with an L2 visa?
Yes, those holding an L2 visa are generally prohibited from traveling outside of the United States except in certain limited circumstances such as emergency medical care or to visit family members abroad in their home country. Additionally, those holding an L2 visa must maintain a valid passport throughout their stay in the United States.
5. How much does it cost to apply for an L2 visa?
The cost of applying for an L2 visa varies depending on a variety of factors including the country of origin and duration of stay in the United States. Generally, applicants will need to pay a non-refundable processing fee as well as any applicable fees related to obtaining passport photos or required documents.