CBP Requires Additional Documents from L-2 Dependents Traveling to the U.S. Without the L-1 Worker
by Foster, on Immigration Updates
L-2 nonimmigrants traveling separately from their L-1 spouse/parent recently have reported being placed in secondary inspection by U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) when initially entering or returning to the United States in L-2 status. L-2 nonimmigrants are the dependent family members of intra-company transferees holding L-1 status.
The CBP has confirmed that L-2 nonimmigrants are being placed in secondary inspection if they are not able to present copies of the L-1 nonimmigrant’s valid Form I-94 record (or Form I-797 Approval Notice with I-94) and endorsed Form I-129S. This change in required documentation impacts the dependents of L-1 visa holders who applied for their visas based on their employer’s approved “Blanket L” visa petition, without obtaining separate L-1 petition approval from U .S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (CIS) in the United States.
The Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record is normally maintained electronically by CBP and can be accessed via the CBP I-94 web page for those who last entered the United States by air or sea. Those who last entered the United States via a land border crossing should be issued a paper Form I-94 card. Foster encourages individuals to print their I‐94 record as soon as possible to review it for accuracy and the expiration date of status in the U.S.
Because of the new CBP procedure, L-1 nonimmigrants should ensure that their family members are provided a copy of their endorsed Form I-129S and most recent I-94 Arrival/Departure record before international travel. The L-2 dependent family members will need to present these items when returning to the United States. Arrival without these items likely will result in a longer wait when going through the secondary inspection process at the airport.
As always, Foster will continue to monitor changes in CBP procedures and document requirements and will provide additional information in future Immigration Updates© and on our firm’s website at www.fosterglobal.com.