How to Apply and Obtain Work Permit in United States

Obtaining a work permit in United States or an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), commonly called a work permit, is crucial for foreign workers who want to work legally in the United States. Beyond providing the legal right to work, a work permit offers access to essential benefits like a social security number, enabling individuals to establish financial stability and contribute to the American economy.

However, obtaining a work permit can take time and effort. This guide will walk you through the eligibility criteria, application process, and renewal procedures for obtaining a work permit in United States.

Understanding the Basics On How to Apply and Obtain a Work Permit in United States

A work permit in United states, or Employment Authorization Document (EAD), grants non-citizens the legal right to work in the United States for a specified period. This document is crucial for regulating non-citizen employment and ensuring compliance with immigration laws. Without a valid work permit, individuals risk deportation and being barred from re-entering the country.

Eligibility Criteria of Work Permit in United States:

To qualify for a work permit in United States, individuals must meet specific eligibility requirements tailored to their immigration status and employment circumstances.

Eligible categories of foreign workers include refugees, asylees, temporary employees, international students, and spouses of US citizens or permanent residents. Each category has its own set of qualifying criteria and documentation requirements.

Application Process of Work Permit in United States:

The application process for obtaining a work permit in United States involves several key steps:

  1. Determine Eligibility: Assess your eligibility based on your immigration status and employment circumstances.
  2. Gather the required documents: Collect all necessary documentation, including a completed Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization), passport photos, and evidence of eligibility.
  3. Complete Form I-765: Fill out Form I-765 accurately and thoroughly, ensuring all required fields are completed.
  4. Pay Fees: Submit the required filing fees along with your application, as fees may vary depending on your circumstances.
  5. Submit Application: Send your completed application, supporting documents, and fees to the appropriate United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office.
  6. Await Processing: Be prepared for processing times, which vary depending on application volume and USCIS processing times.
  7. Attend a Biometrics Appointment: If required, attend a biometrics appointment to provide fingerprints and other biometric data.
  8. Attend Interview (if Required): Certain applicants may be asked to participate in an interview to discuss their application further.
  9. Receive Decision: USCIS will notify you of their decision regarding your work permit application.
  10. Obtain a Work Permit: Upon approval, you will receive your Employment Authorization Document (EAD), granting you the legal right to work in the United States for the specified period.

Types of Work Permits In United States:

Several types of work permits in United States are available to foreign workers, each tailored to specific employment circumstances:

Certainly! Here’s an overview of some common types of work permits available in the United States:

Employment Authorization Document (EAD):

  • The EAD is the most common type of work permit, allowing foreign workers to work for any employer in the US.
  • It is issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and is typically valid for one to two years, depending on the individual’s circumstances.

H-1B Visa:

  • The H-1B visa is temporary for foreign workers in specialty occupations, such as engineers, scientists, and computer programmers.
  • It requires sponsorship from a US employer and is typically valid for up to three years, with the possibility of an extension for another three years.

L-1 Visa:

  • The L-1 visa is for intracompany transferees, allowing multinational companies to transfer employees from a foreign office to a US office.
  • It is available to executives, managers, and employees with specialized knowledge. It is typically valid for up to seven years for managers and executives and five years for specialized knowledge workers.

TN Visa:

  • The TN visa is available to Canadian and Mexican nationals working in specific professional fields under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
  • It is valid for up to three years and renewable indefinitely in three-year increments.

O-1 Visa:

  • The O-1 visa is for individuals with extraordinary ability or achievement in fields such as the arts, sciences, education, business, or athletics.
  • It is usually valid for three years, with one-year extensions permitted, and needs proof of exceptional skill.

P-1 Visa:

  • The P-1 visa is for internationally recognized athletes, entertainers, and artists coming to the US to perform at a specific event or competition.
  • It is valid for the duration of the event or competition, up to five years, for individual athletes and performers.

E-1 Visa:

  • The E-1 visa is for treaty traders engaged in substantial trade between the US and their home country.
  • It is available to nationals of countries with a qualifying treaty with the US. It is typically valid for up to two years, with extensions available in two-year increments.

E-2 Visa:

  • The E-2 visa is for investors making a substantial investment in a US-based business.
  • It is available to nationals of countries with a qualifying treaty with the US and is typically valid for up to five years, with extensions available in five-year increments.

Optional Practical Training (OPT) (F-1):

  • OPT is available to international students in the US on an F-1 visa who wish to gain practical work experience related to their field of study.
  • It is typically valid for up to 12 months, with the possibility of a 24-month extension for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) graduates.

J-1 Visa:

  • The J-1 visa is for exchange visitors participating in various programs, including work-and-study programs, research scholar programs, and internship programs.
  • Usually, it is valid for as long as the program sponsor specifies—that is, the entire term of the exchange program.

Work Permit Renewal and Termination:

Renewing a work permit in United States is essential to maintaining legal authorization to work. The renewal process involves:

  • Submitting Form I-765 and the required documentation.
  • Undergoing any necessary background checks.
  • Awaiting USCIS approval.

Failure to renew a work permit on time may result in termination of employment authorization and potential deportation.

Conclusion:

Obtaining a work permit in United States is a significant milestone for international workers. It offers access to employment opportunities and contributes to personal and professional growth.

By understanding the eligibility criteria, application process, and renewal procedures outlined in this guide, individuals can confidently navigate the complexities of obtaining and maintaining a work permit. Remember, staying informed and following the proper procedures are vital to achieving success in your journey to work legally in the United States.