L-2 dependents traveling to US without L-1 worker need additional documents
Posted on October 27, 2015
L-2 non-immigrant dependent visa holders who are traveling to the US without their L-1A or L-1B visa spouse/parent are reportedly being placed in ‘secondary inspection’ by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Secondary inspection is the process whereby a CBP officer will direct a person, or persons, to an interview area if they wish to carry out further checks. The CBP officer may ask additional questions and ask for more documentation from the L-2 dependent visa holder.
L-2 non-immigrants, the dependent family members of intra-company transferees with L-1A or L-1B non-immigrant visa status, are being placed in secondary inspection when initially entering or returning to US under L-2 visa status where the L-1 visa holder gained entry based on a blanket L-1 visa petition.
CBP confirms secondary inspection of L-2 non-immigrant visa holders
‘L-2 non-immigrant visa holders are being placed in secondary inspection if they are unable to provide copies of an L-1 non-immigrant’s valid I-94 Form (or Form I-797 Approval Notice along with Form I-94), plus endorsed Form I-129S,’ the CBP confirmed.
The change in required documentation will affect the dependents of L-1 visa holders who lodged an application for their visa based on an employer’s approved ‘Blanket L’ – a procedure by which a large company can pre-qualify to transfer employees –, without acquiring approval of a separate L-1 visa petition from US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Form I-94 details showing entry and departure recorded electronically
Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Records are electronically maintained by the CBP in most cases and can be accessed by CBP via their website for those, who entered theUS by air or sea. Persons who last entered the country via a border crossing on land should have received a paper Form I-94 card.
The new CBP procedure means that L-1 visa holders need to make sure that their family members have a copy of their endorsed Form I-129S and the most recent I-94 Arrival/Departure Record before overseas travel. L-2 dependent family members may be required to provide these documents upon returning to the USA.
Failure to present these documents could result in a lengthy delay when undergoing the secondary inspection procedure at any airport.
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