If you have ever dreamed of working in the country, you need to understand the process of obtaining a work permit in the United States. Working on U.S. soil is a common goal for many people around the world because of the job opportunities and the standard of living that this country offers.
In this article, we will explore in detail how to obtain a work permit in the United States, from the requirements to the application process. In addition, Jaskot Law will answer the most frequently asked questions regarding this valuable resource. Keep on reading!
What is a work permit in the United States?
This document, also known as “Employment Authorization Document (EAD),” is essential for any foreign national wishing to work legally on U.S. soil. This permit is issued by the U.S. immigration authorities, specifically by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
There are several types of work permits in the United States, each of which is tailored to different situations and categories of workers. In addition, each type of work permit has specific requirements, limitations, and the duration of the permit may vary depending on the situation.
Who is eligible to obtain a work permit in the United States?
Generally, individuals who are eligible to obtain a work permit in the United States fall into one of the following categories:
- Visas through Employment: If you have a job offer from a U.S. employer or possess specialized skills and qualifications, you may be eligible for a visa through employment.
- Asylum Seekers and Refugees: Persons who have been granted asylum or refugee status in the United States are generally eligible to apply for a work permit.
- Family-based Green Card Applicants: Some family-based visa applicants may be eligible for a work permit while their immigration cases are pending.
- DACA Recipients: If you are a beneficiary of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), you may be eligible for a work permit.
- Spouses of U.S. Citizens: If you are married to a U.S. citizen, you may be eligible for a work permit in the United States.
How to Apply for a Work Permit in the United States?
The application process may vary depending on the category into which you fall as an applicant. Generally, the process includes the following series of steps:
|1- Determine Eligibility|
Before starting the process, it is important to make sure that you meet the necessary requirements to apply for a work permit. This may depend on your current immigration status, your employer, and the type of work you will be doing.
|2- Identify the Work Permit Category|
There are several categories of work permits in the United States, such as the Temporary Work Permit (H-1B, H-2B), the Spousal Work Permit (H-4), the Asylum Work Permit, among others. It is necessary to determine under which category the permit will be requested.
|3- Complete the Appropriate Form|
Depending on the category of work permit, you will need to complete the corresponding form.
|4- Collect Documentation|
Along with the form, you must attach the required documents, such as proof of eligibility, photographs, copies of identity documents, and any other specific documents requested in the form instructions.
|5- Payment of Fees|
Most work permit applications carry a processing fee. Be sure to pay the required fee according to the instructions on the form.
|6- Sending the Application|
Send the completed form and supporting documentation to the USCIS through the method specified in the instructions. This generally involves mailing by post.
|7- Wait for the Decision|
Once USCIS receives your application, it will review the information and make a decision. It may take several months to get an answer. You can check the status of your application online through the USCIS website.
|8- Biometrics (if necessary)|
In some cases, USCIS may schedule an appointment to take your fingerprints and photographs as part of the background check process.
|9- Interview (if necessary)|
For certain categories of work permits, it may be necessary to attend an interview with an immigration officer.
|10- Receiving the Work Permit in the United States|
If your application is approved, you will receive your work permit by mail. Be sure to check the information on the permit for accuracy.
It is important to remember that the application process may vary by category and individual situations, so it is crucial to consult the specific instructions provided by USCIS. At Jaskot Law, we can guide you so that you can face each step with confidence and success.
Applying for a Work Permit in the United States while Undocumented
Due to the complex and lengthy immigration process, a frequent question that arises is “how do I get a work permit if I am illegal?” However, obtaining a work permit in the United States while illegal or undocumented is extremely difficult and, in most cases, it is not permitted.
The U.S. immigration system has strict rules and regulations. So, applicants are generally required to have legal status in order to work in the country. In order to work legally, you must have at least one of the following documents:
- Permanent Resident Card (Green Card)
- Employment Authorization Document
- Specific work visa
It is not necessary to have all three documents to obtain a work permit in the United States. In fact, if you obtain one of them, you can work legally in the country. Contact Jaskot Law if you need assistance in obtaining an opportunity in the country.
How Long does it Take to Get a Work Permit in the United States?
The time it takes for a work permit in the United States to be approved can vary widely. In this short video, the Jaskot Law team answers this questionbriefly and concisely:
It is also important to mention some of the aspects that may influence the approval period. These include:
- Type of Work Permit: Some work permits, such as those for H-1B employees, may have longer and more complicated application processes compared to others.
- Application Volume: In high-demand seasons, processing times may be longer due to excessive USCIS workload.
- Immigration Category: If your work permit application relates to a specific immigration category, such as asylum or spouse visa, processing times may vary depending on the priority and status of applications in that category.
- Compliance with Requirements: The accuracy and completeness of your application, as well as the supporting documentation provided, may affect processing time. If corrections or additional information is required, the process may be delayed.
- Background Checks: In some cases, USCIS performs more extensive background checks, which may take more time. This is common in national security-related work permits or in cases where a security review is required.
- Interviews and Biometrics: If your work permit application involves an interview or fingerprinting and photography (biometrics), this can add time to the process.
- Unexpected Delays: On some occasions, unforeseen delays may occur due to technical problems, administrative errors or issues related to the processing of your application.
After a Work Permit, How Long does the Residency Take?
As it happens with work permit approvals, the time frame for obtaining permanent residency in the United States after receiving approval of the permit may vary. Here are some common scenarios:
|Adjust of Status Request||If you are in the United States on a work permit and are eligible to adjust your status to permanent resident, the time it takes to obtain permanent residency after approval of adjustment of status may vary. In some cases, the process can take several months, while in other cases it can take years, especially if you are in a category with high demand and an annual visa cap.|
|Immigrant Visa Application from Abroad||If your path to permanent residency involves applying for an immigrant visa from outside the United States, the timing can be even more variable. The length of the process will depend on the visa category, the embassy or consulate where your application is processed, and the availability of visas in that category.|
|Immediate Relatives of U.S. Citizens||Spouses and minor unmarried children of U.S. citizens tend to have a faster residency process than others. Once your immigrant visa petition is approved, the wait can be relatively short.|
|Employment-based residency||If you apply for permanent residence through employment, the time may vary depending on the visa category and the priority of your application. Categories with high demand may have longer waiting times.|
|Other factors||Other factors, such as nationality, country of origin, and individual status may influence processing times and visa availability.|
Don’t let so many possible categories and scenarios overwhelm you. With the help of Jaskot Law, you can navigate through the process and evacuate all your doubts to obtain a new opportunity in the United States with peace of mind.
Obtaining a work permit in the United States is a crucial process for those who wish to work legally in this country. Make sure you understand the specific requirements of your situation and follow the application process carefully.
With determination and patience, you can open doors to exciting job opportunities in the United States. And with the help of Jaskot Law’s team of specialized immigration attorneys, you can achieve your goals with greater confidence and without worry. Do not hesitate to contact us!
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I work in any job with a work permit in the United States?
Not all work permits in the United States allow you to work in any job. The ability to work in a specific job will depend on the category of your work permit and the restrictions associated with it. Some work permits are tied to an employer or to a particular type of work.
Can I apply for an extension of my work permit?
Yes, in many cases, you can apply for an extension of your work permit before it expires. It is important to do this well in advance to avoid interruptions in your employment. To apply for an extension, you will generally need to file a renewal application through Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.
Can I change employers with a work permit?
In some cases, you can change employers while you have a work permit in the United States, but you must follow the proper procedures and notify the USCIS of the change. If your work permit is tied to a specific employer, you may need to apply for a new employment authorization if you wish to change jobs.
What happens if my application for a work permit in the United States is denied?
If the USCIS denies your work permit application, it will provide you with a reason for doing so. In addition, you may have the option of appealing the decision, by filing a Letter of Appeal or the Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion for Reconsideration, or resubmit it with additional documentation.