One of the biggest challenges faced by foreign nationals who have families but seek to enter and work in the United States is the issue of bringing their family members with them. Workers who qualify for L-1 visas will find this issue much easier than average; the L-2 visa, which may be valid for up to seven years and allows entry to spouses and unmarried minor children, comes as a natural part of the L-1 application process and is dependent upon the status of the L-1 visa holder.
L-2 Visa Requirements
The supporting documents for an L-2 visa are much simpler than most immigration visas. In place of proof of specialized knowledge or employer relationship, L-2 applicants must simply provide items such as tax returns, marriage certificates or birth certificates, passport photos, and photographs of the applicant. In addition, some information about the L-1 visa holder is required; this includes the form I-129 from the principal applicant, a copy of the approved L-1 visa, and the application fee that goes with the petition.
How to File
The visa application process for L-2 visas requires a few government forms and then additional proof of identity. Forms DS-156 and DS-157 must be submitted to the US embassy where the L-2 applicant resides alongside the following:
- A valid passport
- An original marriage certificate
- Two recent color photographs
- A minimum of four marriage or wedding photographs (if the applicant is a spouse of an L-1 holder)
- A copy of the L-1 visa holder’s approval certificate
- The L-1 visa holder’s employment verification letter
- A demand draft for the visa application fee
- A demand draft for the visa issuance fee
- A copy of the L-1 holder’s income tax return
The Visa Interview
Following the application process for an L-2, applicants will be invited to an interview to answer additional questions. This interview serves to validate that the applicant is being truthful, that they understand the visa for which they are applying, and that features of the L-2 application have been filled out correctly.
For example, an interviewer may ask questions about previously held visas and past visits to the United States in order to confirm that the answers match government records. Similarly, it is common to be asked for dates—when the spouse or parent married, when a spouse’s parents met the other family member’s parents, and so on. Discussions of the future are also common, including whether any children plan to attend school in the United States and whether the L-2 spouse plans to work. Being prepared for this interview is valuable, not only to ensure factual accuracy but to calm nerves and allow the process to occur smoothly and without unnecessary stress. Reviewing the answers to questions you may be asked can help.
Reach Out To An Immigration Law Firm Today
The L-2 visa is one of the easiest visas to acquire, but it comes with its own set of unique challenges. Reach out to The Law Offices of Kermit A. Monge to discuss your situation and prepare for the L-2 visa application process. For more information please give us a call at 703.273.5500 or request a consultation online.