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Continuation of UK employment on L2 (EAD question)

Continuation of UK employment on L2 (EAD question)

Old Mar 24th 2014, 2:35 pm
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Default Continuation of UK employment on L2 (EAD question)

So, I realise this question has been asked many times, but some are older, and some contradict each other due to 'fuzzyness' of law, so I wondered if anybody had any up-to-date, or real-world advice from attorneys.

I have been offered a job in US, my spouse & I both work for the same large US-based company, she has been offered to continue in her role and work remotely.

It would appear most posts say she will need to enter the USA, wait for the biometrics (few weeks?) and then wait for the EAD (few months?) and in that time is not eligible to work.

Some posts mention that this may not be the case according to the wording, but to seek legal advice.

A few specific questions assuming she needs to wait for the EAD about what constitutes employment;
  1. Would she need to terminate her employment in UK, or take a sabbatical/un-paid leave? (technically she'd still be employed?)
  2. If they offered to continue to pay her salary during this time without her working, would this still be classed as employment?
  3. Could she continue to do her job whilst taking un-paid leave? (Voluntary?)

I can understand the EAD requirement for gaining employment in the US, but it would be nice if there was an amendment to allow continuation of overseas employment (of 1 year or over) during the EAD application.

As a second question, is there a quicker/slower route for EAD that we should be aware of, like Internet/Postal/Government office/Another route.

And a third question, does anybody ever get their EAD application rejected or is it just a process to get the correct paperwork?

And one last question Is there anyway she could use the standard 90-day visa waiver program with ESTA to continue working, or does the possession of an L2 visa prevent that?

Apologies for the multiple related questions - many thanks for any help
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Old Mar 24th 2014, 2:54 pm
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Default Re: Continuation of UK employment on L2 (EAD question)

Originally Posted by Jaag View Post
It would appear most posts say she will need to enter the USA, wait for the biometrics (few weeks?) and then wait for the EAD (few months?) and in that time is not eligible to work.
That is correct. Once the I-765 is filed, it'll take 60-90 days for her to get an EAD.


Would she need to terminate her employment in UK, or take a sabbatical/un-paid leave? (technically she'd still be employed?)
No. She can remain employed by them, as long as while she's in the US, she does not do any employment-related activities until she receives her EAD.


If they offered to continue to pay her salary during this time without her working, would this still be classed as employment?
No. If they want to pay her for not doing anything, that is their option.


Could she continue to do her job whilst taking un-paid leave? (Voluntary?)
No. She is not allowed to "work for free".


I can understand the EAD requirement for gaining employment in the US, but it would be nice if there was an amendment to allow continuation of overseas employment (of 1 year or over) during the EAD application.
If you ever become a US citizen, you can vote to change such laws.


As a second question, is there a quicker/slower route for EAD that we should be aware of, like Internet/Postal/Government office/Another route.
No.


And a third question, does anybody ever get their EAD application rejected or is it just a process to get the correct paperwork?
In over 15 years of following US immigration, I've never heard of an EAD being denied. It is a benefit linked directly to a primary visa (such as your L-1), or to filing to adjust status to Permanent Resident. If you are eligible, and you apply, it will be approved.


And one last question Is there anyway she could use the standard 90-day visa waiver program with ESTA to continue working, or does the possession of an L2 visa prevent that?
She is not allowed to work while in visitor status, so... no.

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Old Mar 24th 2014, 7:54 pm
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Default Re: Continuation of UK employment on L2 (EAD question)

Ian, thank you once again for your clear answers, awesome help.
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Old Mar 24th 2014, 9:34 pm
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Default Re: Continuation of UK employment on L2 (EAD question)

An L2 spouse with an SSN can work even without an EAD. An employer would have a problem completing a Form I-9, but work would be lawful under US immigration law. I suppose this would benefit the self employed, independent contractors and those paid from a foreign source.
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Old Mar 25th 2014, 8:44 am
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Default Re: Continuation of UK employment on L2 (EAD question)

Originally Posted by crg View Post
An L2 spouse with an SSN can work even without an EAD. An employer would have a problem completing a Form I-9, but work would be lawful under US immigration law. I suppose this would benefit the self employed, independent contractors and those paid from a foreign source.
I find the whole EAD thing very confusing. We are moving to NYC - the wife will be on an L1 and I will be on an L2. From what I can tell after reading so many posts and sites that the need for an EAD for someone with an L2 comes down to wording on your SSN card - which will either state the need for an EAD or not - but I cannot work out what determines this wording.

At present we are assuming I Will not be able to work for the first 90 days - but obviously it would be great if this were not the case.
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Old Mar 25th 2014, 12:33 pm
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Default Re: Continuation of UK employment on L2 (EAD question)

Originally Posted by H Bomb View Post
I cannot work out what determines this wording.
AFAIK, the type of visa determines the wording.

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Old Mar 25th 2014, 1:03 pm
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Default Re: Continuation of UK employment on L2 (EAD question)

Originally Posted by ian-mstm View Post
AFAIK, the type of visa determines the wording.

Ian
That is what I would think - but you still get different stories - surely every L2 visa holder wither should or should not need an EAD.

Are their different types of L2?
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Old Mar 25th 2014, 7:22 pm
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Default Re: Continuation of UK employment on L2 (EAD question)

L-2 spouses can work. L-2 kids cannot. No EAD is required.

Check here.


For COAs displaying a double asterisk (**) (non-immigrant E-1, E-2, and L-2 classifications), the spouse is also authorized to work without specific DHS authorization.

When the E-1, E-2, or L-2 spouse applies for an SSN card and does not submit an EAD as evidence of employment authorization, he or she must submit, in addition to evidence of lawful alien status, evidence of a marital relationship to the principal E-1, E-2, or L-1 alien. The evidence of marital relationship between the applicant and the principal E-1, E-2, or L-1 alien is a marriage document. The marriage document must indicate the marriage occurred, either: 1) prior to admission to the U.S. as an E-1, E-2, or L-2 non-immigrant; or, 2) prior to extension or change of status to an E-1, E-2 or L-2 non-immigrant.

NOTE: Although aliens listed under a COA in this section are employment authorized without specific DHS authorization, employers may still ask for an EAD before the alien can start working.
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Old Mar 25th 2014, 10:13 pm
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Default Re: Continuation of UK employment on L2 (EAD question)

Cheers for the reply! I may be getting the wrong end if things still but I am reading that as:

If you have an L2 and apply for your SSN with L2 and marriage certificate you do not need an EAD
NOTE
The employer may still want an EAD regardless.

I am sure it isn't as complicated as I am thinking it is!

Last edited by H Bomb; Mar 25th 2014 at 10:16 pm.
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