Also known as “work authorization,” “employment authorization document,” or “EAD,” a work permit may usually only be granted while the applicant has a pending application for some other type of relief or benefit, such as asylum, adjustment of status, VAWA, etc.
If you’re interested in working legally in the United States, you should speak with an immigration attorney about your situation. It might be possible for you to request an immigration work permit while you wait for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) to process your paperwork or application. Rather than put your immigration status at risk, it’s always best to obtain this document before you start working.
WHO NEEDS AN IMMIGRATION WORK PERMIT?
If you’re a foreign national, you must have a visa or immigration work permit to work legally within the United States. USCIS and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) strictly enforces U.S. immigration laws, and undocumented workers risk deportation, immigration bars, and other penalties if they violate the law.
While the process for obtaining an employment-based or immigrant visa can be incredibly complicated, if you’re eligible for an immigration work permit, it’s actually not hard to get one – but this depends on your situation. Many undocumented immigrants believe there is no hope to work legally in the United States, and this is untrue. You should discuss your situation with an experienced immigration attorney and discover what options are available to you.
If you are married to a U.S. citizen, an asylee, have temporary protected status (TPS), a spouse of a visa holder, or meet other USCIS criteria, you may be eligible for a work permit. To fully assess your eligibility and the requirements, contact our experienced immigration attorneys and staff from the office of 360 Immigration Law Group.
WHY ARE IMMIGRATION WORK PERMITS DENIED?
While many work permit applications are approved, a single error or mistake can lead to a denial or rejection. Common reasons for a denied immigration work permit application include:
- Failing to provide all of the necessary evidence;
- Errors on your application;
- Failing to sign necessary documents and forms;
- Failure to meet the program’s eligibility requirements.
Again, if you’re unsure about the application process or are worried that you’ll make mistakes, an immigration lawyer can help you navigate the process, double-check your paperwork, and compile all of your documents.
NOW THAT I HAVE MY PERMIT, WHAT DO I DO NEXT?
If you’ve already been working legally in the United States, all you’ll need to do is provide your current employer with information about your new EAD. However, if you’ve never worked in the U.S., you’ll need to take a couple of steps before you can start working.
First, if you did not request a Social Security number on your USCIS Form, you’ll need to go to a nearby Social Security Administration office and apply for a number. You’ll need to provide Social Security with your passport, work permit, and they will then mail you a Social Security card.
Next, your employer will ask you to complete an I-9 and provide them with documentation of your immigration status. Notably, it is illegal for employers to discriminate against both job applicants and workers due to their national origin or immigration status — as long as you have a valid Social Security number and work permit.
You’ll also have to pay state and federal income taxes, so you should also plan on completing tax forms about payroll deductions and other issues. (Remember that if you don’t pay these taxes, you may endanger your chances of becoming a U.S. citizen.)
HOW DO I RENEW MY WORK PERMIT?
Work permits do expire — and if you forget to renew your EAD, you’re considered undocumented. To avoid this potentially catastrophic mistake, you should apply for an immigration work permit renewal sooner than later. Under U.S. immigration laws, you can submit your renewal up to four months before your existing work permit expires.
Even if you think you’ll receive your green card before your current EAD expires, it’s best to file a renewal. If anything is delayed, and your work permit expires, you may endanger your green card application if you continue working. Typically, it takes about 150 days to process an immigration work permit renewal. If you or a loved one would like to apply for an immigration work permit, or have other questions about your immigration options and the avenues open to you, our experienced attorney at the Law Office of 360 Immigration Law Group would love to hear from you.
Our team assists immigrants, employers, and others with the complex immigration needs, helping their clients achieve their goals and complete their immigration journeys. To learn more, contact us today.
If you’re serious about getting your Work Permit, we are here to help you. . . Let’s schedule your Legal Strategy and Planning Session today.