Work Permit

Humanitarian Visas

Summary

A request for a work permit is submitted on Form I-765 and is a card issued to foreign nationals by the USCIS. The more formal term to describe a work permit is an Employment Authorization Document or (EAD). It allows you to legally work in the U.S., freeing you from consequences or restrictions.

A work permit allows non-U.S. citizens or green card holders without work visas to get a job in the U.S. and earn income. Non-permanent residents still waiting for their green card can apply for a work permit. It’s also possible for people with other visas, like student visas, to get a work permit for a job.

What Is a Work Permit?

A request for a work permit is submitted on Form I-765 and is a card issued to foreign nationals by the USCIS. The more formal term to describe a work permit is an Employment Authorization Document or (EAD). It allows you to legally work in the U.S., freeing you from consequences or restrictions.

You need a work permit before getting a job in the U.S. if you’re not in the country with an eligible visa. Even if you are legally allowed in the country, a work permit is still necessary to get a job.

Are There Any Exceptions?

Green card holders automatically have permission to work in the U.S. They do not need to apply for a work permit. The same applies to naturalized citizens. Several specialty visas are work-based, meaning there is no need to apply. These are:

Who Can Apply for a Work Permit?

There are several categories eligible for a work permit. People who fall into any of these categories may apply:

  • F1 students (for training, on-campus work, financial needs)
  • B1 non-immigrant domestic servants
  • Dependent spouse or child (J1 and E visas)
  • Adjustment of status applicants
  • Dependents of diplomats and international organizations
  • Spouses of H4 and L2 visas

Those outside of these categories may still gain eligibility. However, to understand your options, you should consult an immigration lawyer.

How Can I Apply for a Work Permit?

To apply for a work permit, you need to complete Form I-765 and submit it to the USCIS. You’ll have to submit documentation that proves you are someone who can qualify for it. You’ll also need ID photos and may need to pay a fee depending on your category.

You may have to apply through the mail. The only exception is for F-1 students who can now apply online. After submitting the requirements, you’ll have to wait several weeks before getting a reply.

What Jobs Can I Apply for if I Have a Work Permit?

There are no limits to the work you can get. As long as you’re doing legal work, any U.S. employer can hire you for any job.

What Will Happen if I Try to Work Without a Permit?

If you begin working without getting your permit, you may face dire consequences. If you are applying for a green card through adjustment of status, your application may be denied and it might negatively affect your chances of getting a green card at all.

Illegally working can also affect your chances of getting any other type of visa in the future. You may lose eligibility because of your record. Even for informal or short-term jobs, a permit is still necessary. Avoid taking any unnecessary risks.

Next Steps

If you’re having trouble finding out whether you qualify for a work permit, consider getting legal help. The immigration attorneys from Reeves Immigration Law Group can help you complete your requirements and improve your chances of approval. Our team has helped many in the U.S. get work permits and begin earning income. With our experience, you have the assurance of expert legal counsel to help achieve your goal.

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