Who Qualifies for a Work Permit in the United States

What is a Work Permit

One of the ways to work legally in the United States is to obtain a work permit, known as Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

There is a lot of confusion about work permits. And these are only granted to people who are in very specific immigration situations and are detailed below. It should not be confused, because they are very different things, with work visas, which entitle you to work without such work permit.

Also, keep in mind that of course neither American citizens and legal permanent residents need a work permit. The residence card provides important rights, including those of living and working permanently in the United States.

How to get a Work Permit

This article explains who can apply for and work permit, how it is processed, what is the cost, what to do if the petition is rejected and what are the options if it cannot be applied for the work permit.

Who can apply for an EAD work permit in the United States

  • Political refugees, their spouses and some children.
  • Asylees, with status granted or pending. Although in this case it takes longer to obtain it than is believed due to what is known as the Stop the watch. This benefit also applies to your spouse.
  • Citizens of Micronesia, Palau or the Marshall Islands.
  • Persons granted deferred mandatory departure (DED) Foreigners with a Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or protected by NACARA (Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act).
  • Students with an F-1 visa who qualify.
  • Vocational students with an M-1 visa who want to acquire practical knowledge after completing their studies.
  • Spouses and minor children of the holders with a J-1 exchange visa, such as the case of teachers or teachers.
  • Dependents of G visa holders to work in international organizations located in the United States, or dependents of a foreigner with a NATO or A-1 / A-2 visa (officers of another government).
  • Persons with B-1 visas who are domestic or personal employees of American citizens or foreigners with nonimmigrant visas.
  • The spouse of a person with an investor visa E-1 / E-2.
  • The husband or wife of the holder of an L-1 visa in case of international transfer within the same company.
  • The fiance of an American citizen and their children who have a K-1 or K-2 visa.
  • The spouse of an American who has a K-3 visa and their children.
  • Foreigners who have requested an adjustment of status.
  • Applicants for a suspension of deportation.
  • Young people who benefit from Deferred Action (DACA).
  • Holders of visas N-8 / N-9 (parents or children of special migrants).
  • Foreigners against whom a final order of deportation has been issued, as long as they have a spouse or dependent children in the United States and that depend on their income and that a long time is anticipated until the expulsion is executed.
  • Holders of T family visas (victims of human trafficking, also known as human trafficking, sexual exploitation and forced labor and their immediate family members).
  • Victims of domestic violence by VAWA.
  • Foreigners with a U-1 visa (victims of violent crimes such as rape, domestic violence or torture) and their relatives with visas from the same group.
  • The boys abandoned or abused applying the benefits of the SIJ program.
  • And as of May 26, 2015 people with an H-4 visa (spouses of foreigners with an H-1B visa for professionals) as long as they are in one of the following two categories
    1. Have an approved I-140 petition, that is, a green card application.
    2. That the spouse with the H-1B has an extended visa status beyond 6 years because he has a pending green card application.

What are the options to work in the USA if you cannot apply for a work permit?

The ways to work legally are as follows:

  • Have American citizenship. These are the 5 ways to get it.
  • Have a permanent residence (green card). These are 29 possible ways to get it out.
  • Have a work visa. This is a list of more than 20.
  • Have a J-1 exchange visa, such as for teachers, researchers and university professors, au-pairs, etc.
  • Investment visas E-1 and E-2.

Once you have a document that allows you to work legally in the United States, you can search for work in different ways, including through databases.

Although it is not the United States, it can sometimes be an excellent option to consider other countries, such as Canada, particularly in the case of professionals whose skills are sought in the neighboring country.

Also, keep in mind that in Canada, in addition to the option to emigrate following the rules of the Canadian government, there is the possibility of doing so following the rules of each province. In particular, those offered by Quebec are very interesting for people who speak French at medium level.

Documentation to request a work permit

The form for the work permit application is I-765. It can be presented in paper form and also electronically (check that it qualifies for the latter).

It is very important to understand that each group of foreigners must present different documentation. For example, it is not the same what a person with a U-1 visa must send with the petition than another who has applied for asylum.

But all applicants must attach with their petition, if it is sent to the USCIS:

  • A copy of I-94 or check-in and check-out, except those that apply under the status adjustment category.
  • A copy for the right and the reverse of all work permits that had been previously taken.
  • Two identical passport-style photos taken in the 30 days prior to sending the application.

Tariff (fee or fee) to be paid to the USCIS

General cost

The application filing fee is $ 410, except for young people who apply for DACA who must also pay another $ 85 for biomedical testing. That is, for these boys the total cost is $ 495.

However, applicants for the first time do not have to pay a fee to apply for work permits under the following categories: refugees, asylees in certain categories, visa holders N-8 / N-9, U-1 (victims of violence ), T-1 ( people traffic ).

Nor do the citizens of Micronesia, Palau or the Marshall Islands dependents of foreign government officials or workers of international organizations located in the United States or NATO.

Also excluded from this obligation are the persons who apply for protection under VAWA for being victims of domestic violence or those foreigners who have been granted a suspension of deportation.

People with financial difficulties who may be exempt from paying

In addition, other people who should pay it but are going through a difficult financial time may, if they meet the requirements, apply to not pay the fee to the USCIS.

What to do if you delay getting an answer beyond what are usual deadlines

In these cases, consult with a lawyer to study whether to sue the USCIS through a writ of mandamus.