For many migrants, work is your entire reason for being in the U.S. For others, it’s a way for you to finance your refuge here or support your family or yourself while attending school.
Either way, obtaining a legal Work Permit is essential to your survival and success. The form may seem fairly straightforward, but there are a number of potential traps. If you fail to answer even one of the many questions correctly, for example, the entire form will be returned to you for adjustment, potentially causing you to miss important filing deadlines.
Rather than risk a mishap, contact the Immigration specialists at Nuñez & Associates where we can walk you through the filing, explain every step of the process, and help ensure that you don’t miss a thing.
Working in the U.S.
As a non-resident alien, you can work in the US provided you obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from the USCIS. The application is Form I-765. If granted, you may legally work in the US for the time specified in the EAD, which is based on your immigration situation. An EAD is distinct from a Labor Certification, which is issued by the Department of Labor, in that you can work for anyone. Also, the employer is the one who obtains the Labor Certificate, which is generally issued because there are an insufficient number of US workers to fill a position.
There are a number of categories for non-resident immigrants who are eligible to apply for an EAD:
- F-1 students seeking Optional Practical Training in the profession for which they are studying in school. You must be enrolled for at least 9-months in an approved school before you can apply
- F-1 student sponsored by a qualifying international organization
- F-1 student who can demonstrate a severe economic hardship (unforeseen circumstances that caused the hardship)
- J-2 spouse or minor child of an exchange visitor so long as the employment is for a purpose other than to support the exchange visitor or J-1 visa holder
- Immigrant who has filed for adjustment of status (I-485)
- M-1 students seeking practical training once studies have been completed
- K-1 non-immigrant fiancé or fiancée of US citizen or K-2 Dependent if filed within 90 days of entry
- L-2 visa holders (dependents of L-1 visas)
- Aliens granted asylum
- Family unit program beneficiaries
EAD Application Process
The filing fee when submitting the I-765 is $380. For those requesting consideration under DACA (deferred action for childhood arrivals), there is an additional $85 services fee along with filing the I-821D form.
Some applicants may file online but if you submit the application to the USCIS lockbox facility, attach a G-1145 so you can obtain email notification that your application was accepted.
The USCIS may approve your application without further action or require an in-person interview. If 90 days has passed with no decision, you can obtain an interim EAD.