Getting a work permit in the USA as an immigrant can be very confusing and intimidating, but fortunately it’s not all that hard to do once you know how to navigate the system. This guide will cover everything you need to know about getting a work permit in the USA, from the process of applying to all of the legal details and forms you’ll have to file along the way. Let’s get started!
Who is eligible?
Most recent immigrants are eligible for either a blue card or work visa, which allows them to live and work within the United States. However, there are some restrictions when it comes to education and age. For example, with an H-1B visa you must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution; if you’re under 14 years old, your parents must petition for your green card on your behalf. On the other hand, no schooling is required for those who apply for a blue card but they do need at least five years of legal residency (meaning they cannot have violated any laws while living in the country). Requirements vary depending on what type of green card someone has applied for so it’s best to consult with an immigration lawyer before applying.
What are some common mistakes people make when applying for a work permit?
New immigrants often think that they will be able to automatically start working, but this is not always the case. The work permit process includes the following steps:
1) your employer needs to request and obtain a labor certification
2) if approved, you need to submit your I-140 petition (a request for permanent residence)
3) once you have received your employment authorization, you may apply for lawful permanent residence and receive a blue card that lets you work without restrictions.
Another common mistake people make is when they are asked what their occupation is on an application form and answer computer scientist. This answer will not suffice because computer scientists can fall under many different classifications depending on their education level, experience level and area of expertise.
Does everyone need an attorney to apply for a work permit?
This depends on your country of origin and visa type. There are various visas for which you might need an attorney, including H-1B, E-2, L-1A/L-1B, O-1A/O-1B, TN and F or J visa. But there are also different types of work visas for which no special documentation is required. To avoid making mistakes on paperwork that could invalidate your application or require you to start the process over from scratch with an approved company (and wait another couple months), it’s best to consult with someone who can assess your situation.
How do I apply for my EAD (work authorization)?
To get your work permit, you’ll need to apply for an EAD at the local USCIS office. It can take about 3-5 months for processing, so be sure to get it done as soon as possible. To start your application process, complete Form I-765 and submit supporting documents that prove eligibility. Once you have done this, send your completed form and documents via certified mail with return receipt requested or by using a commercial carrier that provides delivery confirmation.
Where do I apply and what are the documents needed?
Every state has different rules for immigrants when it comes to work visas. The best place to start is by contacting your closest international office at the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services. Once you get through, they will ask you questions about your nationality, profession, education level, and whether or not you are married or have kids. If you are married, they will also ask if your spouse is already legally residing in the U.S., what their occupation is, and what kind of visa they have been given so far.
Should I apply before or after I start working?
If you are a new immigrant and have obtained your green card, you can go ahead and apply for your work permit before you start working in the US. This is actually advisable because it will take about 5-6 months for USCIS to process an application for your work permit once you submit it. If USCIS does not issue an approval within 6 months, you will be able to keep applying until they do approve of your application.
Can I still renew my EAD while on H1B extension with another employer?
It is important to note that, even if you are on an H1B extension with another employer and have not had your EAD expire, you will still need to obtain a new EAD for employment at your new company. A company cannot offer you more than 12 months of employment on an H1B extension and it does not matter how many times an individual has been previously granted H1B extensions. This will be evaluated by the USCIS when reviewing petitions for a change of employer.
What happens if I don’t renew my EAD when it expires?
The EAD card is currently set at an expiration date of two years. Once this expires, you will no longer be able to work until you apply for and receive a new one. If your work permit is set to expire and you haven’t yet applied for renewal, it’s important that you do so promptly because delays will result in significant gaps where you are not legally permitted to work.
How long does it take to get my EAD approved?
Getting your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) approved is not a simple task. Obtaining an EAD requires immigration lawyers, paid fees, and lengthy waits. Generally speaking, you can’t simply apply for an EAD; it must be applied for by someone else on your behalf (e.g., if you’re under 18 years old). If your spouse sponsored you and you are currently residing with them, they can request that work permit on your behalf.