What Is an R - L2 Visa?

By Fraser Sherman
Immigrants today need visas.

"we are all immigrants" sign image by Christopher Martin from Fotolia.com

Visas give foreigners authorization to enter and stay in America. There are many forms of visa, one of which is the R-L2, used by the spouses and children of foreigners employed in the United States.

R-L1

The L1 visa authorizes foreigners to work in the United States for an American company related to their foreign employer. The American employer could be a subsidiary, branch office or parent company of the overseas business.

R-L2

The R-L2 visa--the R stands for "regular"--is available for spouses and children of an L1 visa holder who want to visit or stay with him. An L2 visa holder can stay in the country as long as the L1 visa remains valid.

Documentation

The L2 applicant must provide American officials with a passport; a letter from the L1 holder's employer confirming the L2's family relationship; and a marriage certificate for a spouse or birth certificates for children. There will also be several immigration forms to fill out.

Names

L2 visa applicants are not required to share their spouse's last name or have it on their passport or other documents to qualify for the L2 visa.

Benefits

L2 visa holders are free to leave America and return as often as they like, as long as the L1 visa is still valid. L2 visa holders can study full-time in America and with immigration-service approval, and they can also find jobs of their own.

About the Author

A graduate of Oberlin College, Fraser Sherman began writing in 1981. Since then he's researched and written newspaper and magazine stories on city government, court cases, business, real estate and finance, the uses of new technologies and film history. Sherman has worked for more than a decade as a newspaper reporter, and his magazine articles have been published in "Newsweek," "Air & Space," "Backpacker" and "Boys' Life." Sherman is also the author of three film reference books, with a fourth currently under way.