When Can you Apply for Work Authorization in the US?
Having an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), commonly known as a work permit, opens doors that would otherwise remain closed. With a work permit, a person can obtain a Social Security Number, a driver’s license, and have access to jobs that pay well and provide benefits such as health insurance. Therefore, it is no surprise that one of the most common questions our office receives is whether a person can obtain a work permit.
In order to obtain a work permit a person must file an application, Form I-765, and generally there must be an underlying “primary” application or visa status which allows the person to apply; it is not possible to simply apply for a “stand-alone” work permit. Three common examples are the following:
- A person who is married to a U.S. Citizen and is eligible for Adjustment of Status files a Form I-485. At the same time, they file an application for a work permit (Form I-765).
- A person files an application for Asylum (Form I-589). After the application has been pending for 150 days, he or she can file a Form I-765 to obtain an employment authorization document (EAD).
- A person in removal proceedings files a Form EOIR-42B with the Immigration Court to apply for Cancellation of Removal / Deportation. He or she can then file a Form I-765 with USCIS to obtain a work permit, while the application is pending.
As can be seen from the above-listed examples, filing a Form I-765 for a work permit is only possible in conjunction with a primary application, such as the Form I-485, or after filing a primary application, such as a Form I-589. This limits the number of individuals who can obtain a work permit. This means that a careful analysis must be completed in order to determine if a person can or should apply for a work permit based upon the primary application which must be filed. It is important to understand that if the primary application is not successful then the individual could be facing serious consequences such as a loss of their status or even deportation and therefore consulting with an experienced and competent immigration lawyer is always advised before applying for any immigration benefit.
At FitzGerald Law Company, we understand the enormous value of having a work permit and the impact it can have on individuals and families. As we all continue to make our way through the pandemic, ensuring that our families have financial stability is of profound importance, and an employment authorization can help achieve that. Our experienced immigration attorneys and legal team can help evaluate your situation to determine if there is an immigration pathway available that could result in your applying for a work permit. To schedule an initial consultation with one of our experienced Boston immigration lawyers call 617-303-2600 or request your appointment online.