Work Permit Lawyer in Newark Providing Legal Advice for Clients Seeking to Come to the United States to Find Employment
Whether you are planning to come to the United States to work or are already living here and want to be able to obtain employment lawfully as a foreign national, it is important to understand how work permits work and whether you are eligible to receive one. Learn a few important answers about work permits and see how a work permit attorney may be able to help.
How Can a Non-citizen Get a Work Permit in the USA?
Individuals who are not U.S. Citizens and who do not have an immigration status that allows them to work in the United States (such as being a green card holder) need to receive authorization from the government before seeking employment in the country. One of the ways to obtain this authorization is through an EAD (Employment Authorization Document), informally referred to as a work permit.
Work permits are issued by the USCIS and look similar to a driver’s license. Most work permits have an expiration date of a year after they were issued. You may renew your work permit before it expires for as long as your immigration status allows you to continue working in the USA. Some immigrants may require a work-specific temporary or permanent visa instead of an EAD, so be sure to check which option is right for your situation.
Is a Work Permit the Same as a Work Visa?
Work permits are not the same as work visas, mainly because a work visa is usually tied to a specific employer. With a work visa, a specific employer applies for the visa on your behalf, and the visa allows you to travel to the United States to live and work for as long as you remain with the same employer. If you quit your job, your visa is no longer valid, and you may only obtain employment somewhere else if a new employer applies for a new visa for you.
A work permit (EAD), on the other hand, is not connected to a specific employer but depends largely on your immigration status. Work permits are issued to non-citizens whose immigration status allows them to work for any employer in the United States. For example, someone who entered the country with lawful nonimmigrant status, such as a K-1 fiance visa, and has applied for an adjustment of status after getting married may request an EAD and start working and earning a living while their application for a green card is still pending. Other categories eligible for an Employment Authorization Document include asylees, DACA recipients, spouses of some visa holders, and some exchange students. The USCIS website has a complete list of immigration statuses that make a non-citizen eligible to receive a work permit in the USA.
How Do You Apply for a Work Permit?
The first step to applying for a work permit is to fill out form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. You will also need to submit a list of supporting documents that may include a copy of your passport page and current visa, a copy of your I-94 travel record, and a copy of any previous work permits (if applicable).
In many cases, you will also need to pay any applicable fees. Immigrants applying for a green card (Adjustment of Status) may apply for an EAD simultaneously and, in most cases, have the EAD fee waived. EADs may take anywhere from 2 to 7 months to be processed.
Why Is It a Good Idea to Hire an Attorney to Apply for a Work Permit?
While you are not required to have an attorney in order to apply for a work permit, you may find it extremely beneficial to choose to hire one. Your attorney can help you ensure your forms are filled out correctly and that you have all the required supporting documents. If you have questions about work permits, reach out to the Law Office of Elsy Segovia, P.C. in Newark, New Jersey, by calling 973-313-5794.