Obtaining a work permit or an Employment Authorization Document
One of the biggest questions I get asked by clients from other countries is how can they obtain a work permit aka employment authorization document (EAD). The EAD is an ID card from the US government granting permission for the individual to work in the USA.
This can be a very attractive offer for immigrants because they can earn higher wages in the United States than in their home country. However, the US government needs to approve your application and not everybody is entitled to a work permit.
Can anybody obtain a work permit?
The only way to get an employment authorization document (EAD) is if the government issued you one. The government is going to issue you one only if you qualify under the current laws. On the EAD card, it will state under which category your EAD was approved. It could be anywhere from working at a big corporation or working at a convenience store.
Either way, you need to submit an application to the government and they must approve it. However, it’s not just about wanting an employment authorization document you have to have a legal reason as to why you qualify.
If an immigrant just wants to cross over into the USA and work the USCIS will not grant them a work permit.
I repeat USCIS will not grant a work permit for anyone who is in the country illegally. An exception to this exists if you are applying for asylum with the Immigration court and are already in removal proceedings.
How long is a work permit valid for?
The work permit is usually valid for about 2 years and can be renewed as long as you still qualify. The renewal process involves filling documents and applications with USCIS and paying the appropriate filing fee.
If you or somebody you know would like to apply for a work permit please feel free to give us a call.