US: Guidance on Visa Applications for H-4 and L-2 Dependents

US: Guidance on Visa Applications for H-4 and L-2 Dependents


On July 16th the US Department of State (DOS) issued a clarification on the executive order issued in June restricting entry for applicants of the H-1B, H-4, L-1, L-2, H-2B, and J visas. The clarification specifically advised that H-4 and L-2 dependents whose spouse or parent is already currently in the US, can apply for and receive their entry visas.

What has changed?

The clarification to the June 22nd executive order is good news for family members currently outside the US who are hoping to apply for their visas to join their spouse or parents who are already in country. Many families have been separated for an extended period of time due to closure of US consulates and embassies around the world in response to the Covid-19 outbreak. The restrictions issued within the June executive order seemed to further delay the possibility of reuniting in the US until the end of the year. However, the DOS clarification issued on July 16th confirms that H-4 and L-2 dependents are permitted to apply for and receive visas if their H-1B or L-1 spouse or parent is currently in the United States.

What to expect /impact?

Families with H-1B or L-1 spouses or parents can now start planning to apply for their entry visas and look forward to reuniting with their family as US embassies and consulates gradually start reopening.

For further information on the clarifications issued by the DOS relating to visa applications for H-4 and L-2 dependents, please contact the Sterling Lexicon immigration team at 

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Leanne Cottrell
Leanne Cottrell

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