The major advantage of L2 Dependent visa over H4 dependant visa is that L2 visa spouse is allowed to work in the U.S. one employment Authorization Document (EAD) is filed with the uscis and is approved. Once you get EAD card, you should go to the Social Security Office and apply for Social Security Number, il you already don't have one. L2 Visa holder with EAD can do any legal Job or business anywhere in the U.S., part-time or fulle-time, off-line or on-line. They can work in hight tech, grocery store, restaurant or wichever legal business they want to work in. In other words, L2 visa EAD allows "open market" employment authorization. L2 Visa holder spouse can not work in the U.S before getting the EAD approved.
EAD for L2 Spouse is valid up to 2 years at the time. EAD can be renewed as long as the person remains in the valid L2 status. EAD application can be filed on its own or along with Form I_539 to extend or change Nonimmigrant Status. In case of concurrent filing, the statue extension would have to be approved before the EAD can be issued.
Checklist of the supporting documents for applying to EAD on L2 Visa :
- Filing fee – Currently $380 (Please check on USCIS site for latest fees)
- I-765 form
- L1 approval notice of spouse
- Copy of Passport
- Copy of I-94
- Two photographs
- Copy of SSN (If you have)
Should it be e-filed or sent through regular mail? Which would be processed faster ?
Both of them take same time. If you do e-filing, you would have to send your docs by regular mail later. So, it is preferred that you send all the documents through regular mail at once, it will be easier instead of e-filing.
Is a covering letter required? If so what should it contain?
Nothing in specific. Just the list of documents.
Its been a week since I’ve come , Can I apply immediately or should I wait for a specific lead time?
You can apply immediately.
How long is the L2 EAD card valid?
As long as your spouse L1 is valid.