Helpful Change Made to Dependent Visa Annotations

The U.S. government is making important changes to dependent visa annotations that will make the system more efficient for U.S. Customs and Border Protection This new change will help officers locate the principal visa holder’s record using a dependent visa.

For E-1 and E-2 visa spouses and children, annotations previously simply indicated “PA” (which stands for Principal Alien), and then an annotation for the employer that the “Principal Alien” works for. Now, the annotation indicates “Spouse of PA” along with the PA’s name and the expiration date of the PA’s visa. USCBP officers can use this information to issue Form I-94 admission records at airports in alignment with the principal visa holder’s admission.

This change helps families avoid issues when traveling into the country as the visa itself will provide the necessary information for them, protecting them from unexpected expiration dates and missed deadlines.

Early in 2022, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) first made a change to the annotations on Form I-94 for spouses of L-2, E-1, and E-2 visa holders. This change would list an “S” after their status on the form – listing “L-2S” or “E-1S” or “E-2S” depending on the status of their spouse. This would expedite the process of allowing them to secure employment and avoid any disruptions to their ability to work in the United States.

Spouses who do not already have this status change should be able to contact CBP officials to get this change made in order to secure the right to work quickly. You are able to do this over the phone or via email without needing to leave the U.S. and re-enter or report to an inspection site.

At Valvo & Associates, we pride ourselves on helping immigrants and their families access the necessary resources to secure and maintain legal immigration status. These changes improve circumstances for dependent visa holders and make working in the U.S. smoother. If you need help sorting through these changes or a challenge to your immigration status, contact our team right away to get started.

By Brandon Valvo