CBP Using New Admission Codes for E and L Nonimmigrant Dependents

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By: Lihua Tan

Starting on January 31, 2022, United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) implemented new Class of Admission (COA) codes for E and L dependent spouses that automatically grant them work authorization upon entering the US. New I-94s created for E and L dependent spouses will reflect the new COA codes.

This change reflects a recent United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) policy which recognizes that E and L spouses are authorized to work incident to status and do not have to apply for employment authorization documents.

new codes of admission

During the admission process for new arrivals, an officer will select one of the below codes for E and L dependents. The codes will only apply to new arrivals.

  • E-1S – Spouse of E-1
  • E-1Y – Child of E-1
  • E-2S – Spouse of E-2
  • E-2Y – Child of E-2
  • E-3S – Spouse of E-3
  • E-3Y – Child of E-3
  • L-2S – Spouse of L-1A or B
  • L-2Y – Child of L-1A or B

Unfortunately, CBP will not be able to change previously issued I-94s at deferred inspection sites as they are only available for correction-based mistakes. Therefore, individuals inside the US who wish to have the new designation must depart and re-enter the US.

Although it is not required, it is recommended that all spouses travel with proof of marriage to ensure they are issued the correct status.

For dependents with applications filed with USCIS, it has been reported that USCIS has already started issuing new Forms I-797, Notice of Action with the new codes.


For help ensuring you are authorized to work, or for other specific questions regarding new admissions policy, contact your Chugh LLP, immigration professional.


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