How to Obtain a Work Permit in the USA
Like most countries, the USA requires immigrants to obtain a work permit before they can get a job. Depending on your profession and reason for being in the country, a USA work permit can be difficult to get.
To help you understand things in more detail, here are the important facts about a USA work permit and how you can get one.
What is a USA Work Permit?
A work permit is fairly self-explanatory. It’s a document that shows you’re legally allowed to work in a country, in this case, the USA. It’s formally known as an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and is issued by the USCIS, typically before entering the country.
Regardless of your job or professional field, if you’re not an American citizen, you need a USA work permit. All jobs are issued with the same work permit, although their validity and renewal opportunities do vary.
Who is Eligible for a USA Work Permit?
There are potentially too many categories to list here for work permit eligibility. Green Card holders get one automatically, and people with temporary protected status and adjustment of status applications may also get one.
Some other categories include:
* M-1 students who have already attained the completion of their courses and going to take the practical training
* Non-US citizen F1 students who have completed 9 months of a course before taking the optional practical training program as per their course.
* F-1 who have got employment offers from any eminent international organization
* F-1 students going through a financial crisis and applying for off-campus employment. The application must be forwarded along with the affidavit and documents supporting their claim.
* Citizens of nations granted the status of the Temporary Protected status if their immediate relatives are US permanent residents or citizens
* J-2 spouse or children less than the age of 18 years of the exchange visitor.
* People having L-2 visas
* People with refugee status in the country
In short, if you have a legal right to be in the country, you may be eligible for a USA work visa.
Who isn’t Eligible for a USA Work Permit?
That said, nonimmigrant visa holders often aren’t eligible for a USA work visa. For example, someone who holds a temporary business visa must specifically state they don’t plan to work for an American company while in the country. And, of course, most tourists won’t look for work while they’re in America!
The notable exception to this is temporary worker visas – H1B and H2B. As the name suggests, these are temporary visas specifically for the purpose of working, such as seasonal agricultural work or tourism work. Part of the application process for these visas is getting a permanent work visa usa so the applicant can enter the USA and work for a short period.
Applying for a USA Work Permit it’s pretty straightforward.
In most cases, you’ll apply for a USA work permit in your home country before entering the US. To do so, you start with Form I-765. You need a work visa USA sponsorship for this, which will usually be your potential employer, as they’ll need to justify why they’re hiring you.
The entire process of applying for a work permit is not an easy task and one has to go through the following series of procedures before getting one. As you’d expect, you must submit photos and supporting information, although there’s less to do if you’re applying as part of your Green Card.
As with Green Card applications, the most common reason work permits are rejected is that the form is filled out incorrectly. For this reason, it’s worth taking time to complete it properly before submitting it, as it’s otherwise wasted money and you’ll have to reapply.
Your first USA work permit is usually valid for a year, although there are some exceptions. For example, temporary work visas may only last a few months, and the work permit will only be valid as long as the visa.
However, you can often renew your work permit, providing you still have a job in place. There might be restrictions to how many times you can renew a work permit or it might make more sense for you to adjust to a Green Card instead. The latter is quite common and is generally an easy process.
The work permit USA cost is 410 USD. In addition to that, you also need to pay $85.00 for biometric services.
Renewing your USA Work Permit
The most important thing when renewing a work permit is to do it well in advance. If you forget to renew in time and your work permit expires, the best-case scenario is that you won’t be able to work until you get a new one. The worst case is that you’ll be deported and barred from the US for up to 10 years.
Luckily, you can begin renewal 6 months before your current card expires. Renewing is much easier than the initial application, as you just need to confirm everything is still valid. However, as the renewal process can take up to 5 months, it’s best to start as soon as you can.
USA Work Permits and Green Cards for the United States
As mentioned, there’s no need to apply for an EAD if you have (or are applying for) a Green Card. Successful Green Card applicants get a work permit, as it’s included in the pack. However, some companies suggest you continue with work permit renewals if you already hold one regardless of your Green Card application.
During this time, USCIS will look for any unauthorized periods of work, such as when your work permit expired. There aren’t many circumstances in which they’ll accept unauthorized work without a permit, so it’s in your best interest to ensure yours is still valid. After all, the last thing you want to do is risk not getting a Green Card.
Of course, there is an easier way to avoid all these form-filling and application risks: applying through the Green Card Lottery. It gives you all the same benefits as a Green Card but without the need to have a job lined up or family in the US. As such, it gives you chance to settle down in the country before finding a job that suits your needs.
So, if this sounds tempting, go through the US Green Card Office to apply for the GREEN CARD LOTTERY