L2 Visa Extension & Renewal Process

An L-2 non-immigrant visa is a dependent visa category available for the immediate family members, i.e., spouse and unmarried children (under the age of 21) of L-1 visa holders who wish to enter the U.S.

L-2 visa holders can live in the United States for the entire length of time authorized in their spouse’s L-1 visa. L-2 visa holders are responsible to extend L-2 status if their spouse’s L-1 visa has expired, and they intend to continually live in the United States with their spouse. You may travel in and out of the U.S. on L-2 visa as long as you maintain valid status, and the principal L visa holder maintains his or her status. You may attend school in the U.S. while on L-2 status.

Under U.S. immigration law, L-2 visa holders can apply for work authorization upon entering the United States. L-2 spouse of an L-1 visa holder can obtain a general Employment Authorization. The employment authorization must be applied separately by the L-2 spouse. The L-2 child is not permitted to work.

To extend your stay in the United States, you should file Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Non-immigrant Status, with USCIS before your visa expires. If you are unsure of your current departure date, check the date on Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record, to find out how long you are allowed to stay in the country. USCIS recommend that you apply to extend your stay at least 45 days before your authorized stay expires, but the USCIS Service Center must receive your Form I-539 application by the day your authorized stay expires.

If an employer files a Form I-129 to extend the status of L-1 visa holder, and the L-2 spouse and/or unmarried children under age 21 also want to extend L-2 status, they will need to file a Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Non-immigrant Status. While the dependents of L-1 cannot be included on Form I-129 they can all be included on one Form I-539 to extend L-2 status.

After you have submitted Form I-539 application to extend L-2 status, USCIS will mail you a receipt. This receipt will provide a number assigned to track your Form I-539 application, as well as the projected processing time. An extension of stay is not automatic. USCIS will look at your situation, your status, the reasons you want to extend L-2 status, and will decide whether to grant your Form I-539 application.

If your application is received by USCIS before your status expires, and if you have not violated the terms of your status and meet the basic eligibility requirements, you may continue your previously approved activities in the United States (including previously authorized work) for a maximum period of 240 days, or until a decision is made by USCIS on your application or the reason for your requested extension has been accomplished.

If your Form I-539 application for an extension is approved, you will be issued a replacement I-94 with a new departure date

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19 thoughts on “L2 Visa Extension & Renewal Process

  1. Hi,

    Thank you for using my article and by not changing the wording on the body of the article. I highly appreciated it.

    Take care.

  2. So you mean to say that even though my L2 Visa and EAD is expired, i will be legal/elgible to work in US while i have allpied for L2 extension with USICS ?

    Please clarify.


  3. I am on L-2 Visa having my EAD. I am currently employed. My Visa, I-94 and EAD expires in June. My spouse employer has filed our L-1/L-2 visa extensions. Can I continue my work after my EAD and Visa expires if USCIS doesn’t give any decision by then?


  4. I have the same question as above two. Does it mean that L2 visa + EAD holder can continue working as long as the L1 visa is extended and while her visa and EAD extension are in progress.

  5. hi i have a question i am on L2 visa nd my husband is on L1 visa in U.S…Our visa is expiring next year in august 2012…Do we need to leave the country(us) for the renewal of our visa nd get it done from india again…Is there any option to renew the visa from us itself while staying here…Coz i have heard that u need to renew ur visa from where the place u get it done before nd cnt stay in us before the renewal process ends…

  6. hi,

    I am in different situation. I am on l2 visa which got expired on 15 sept 2011 but still I have valid i94 till jan 2014. I applied for my EAD renewal but got denied because uscis system shows my l2 visa hasn’t got extended.

    My question is : am I eligible to file i539 form for extension when I still have valid i94 till jan 2014?

    your help would be highly appreciated!!!

  7. Hi, I am in L2 with my i94 and visa expiring in Feb 2013. My spouse’s visa expires in feb 2013 but has his i93 until 2015.My husband’s company has filed i539 to extend my i94.I would like to know how long it take to get i94 approved and can i file my EAD now.

  8. Hi, I’m on L2 visa I wana ask when can I extend my visa, and how long it’s gona take? Because I need to go home this summer.
    And I have more than 1 passports is it possible or is there any way that I can apply my new visa on another passport?

  9. Hi Chiyo,
    If you are on a dependent visa (L2) of the L1 visa your ability to extend is solely determined on the primary L1 visa holder. So if they have extended their period then you can as well. As for doing it on a different passport, in theory that shouldn’t be an issue but ultimately is up to the US Consulate officer assessing your case.

  10. Hi Vigneshree,
    THere is no set time for approval for all these things but in general each filing tends to take 2-3 months to get assessed and hopefully approved. It possibly might have been good to file your I-795 for your Employment Authorization with your I-539 extension as while not exactly sure you might have to wait now. You should probably call the USCIS about this situation and see if there is a way you can do this now to speed up process.
    Good Luck,

  11. My L2 visa application was sent after the expiration but my husband’s L1 was applied before expiration and was renewed within 3 weeks but my application is still pending for almost 4 months. How long can I stay in this expired status pending application?

  12. I am on L-2 Visa having my EAD. I am currently employed. My Visa, I-94 and EAD expires in June. My spouse employer has filed our L-1/L-2 visa extensions. Can I continue my work after my EAD and Visa expires if USCIS doesn’t give any decision by then?


  13. I am on L-2 Visa having my EAD. I am currently employed. My Visa, I-94 and EAD expires in September. My spouse employer has filed our L-1/L-2 visa extensions. Can I continue my work after my EAD and Visa expires if USCIS doesn’t give any decision by then?


  14. Hi

    I am in an L2 Visa and my visa is expiring on nov 2017. My spouse’s company had submitted an i539 for extending my i94. It has been 120 days and the case is still in process. In this case if my visa extenaion is not submitted before it expires can i still contineu working with the receipt. I539 that was submitted is not the L2 extn application. Just to extend my current i94 to match my spouse’s i94. Ur article states that with the receipt the applicant is allowed to stay and continue the prior approved activities. Please confirm if i can continue working.

    Looking forward to your response.

  15. I’m an L2 Visa holder and my visa expires in December 2017, but my I-94 expires in 2020. Do I have to travel back to my home country to renew my L2 visa or can I go to US Consulate in Canada and renew.

  16. I have recently received notification that my L1 visa and my spouses and daughters L2 visas have been extended. The systems have been updated for my self and my daughter, however not for my husband which means he cannot renew his drivers license. Also our I94 last re-entry date hasn’t been updated. Can anybody point me in the right direction to get help?

  17. Hello, My L1A & spouse’s L2 extension application is in progress since last 7+ months. Can spose stay until the case decision is received irrespective of time it takes?

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