How Can I Obtain a Work Permit?
December 5, 2019
Anyone who wants to hold a job in the U.S. must present proper identification to their potential employer proving their eligibility for employment. It is illegal for the employer to skip this step. It is also against the law for the employee to begin employment without proper verification of work status. In addition to citizens who derive citizenship from their parents, many others are allowed to work in the U.S. In all cases, employers must check citizenship or work eligibility paperwork for all new hires. Otherwise, the employee and the employer are in violation of the law.
Who Can Lawfully Work in the U.S.?
U.S. Citizens: Citizens born on U.S. soil or to U.S. citizens must show some form of picture identification to prove citizenship. A valid driver’s license or passport is acceptable.
Naturalized Citizens: Those who later go through the process to become naturalized are also eligible for employment. They may show their valid passport or naturalization certificate to be employed.
Green Card Holders: Individuals with green cards are established as lawful permanent or conditional residents. As such, they are eligible for work.
Foreign Nationals Sponsored by a U.S. Employer: Holders of work-based visas must maintain employment with an employer-sponsor as a condition of their permission to be in the country.
Work Permit Holders: Employees that do not fit any of the above categories must obtain a work permit to work in the U.S. legally.
What is a Work Permit?
A work permit, also known as an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), is a photo identification card that can be produced by a prospective employee as part of an application for employment. The card, which is issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), serves as proof to a potential employer that the EAD holder is eligible for employment.
Who is Eligible for a Work Permit?
Individuals authorized to apply for a work permit in the U.S. include:
- Foreign nationals in the process of obtaining permanent residence
- Foreign nationals with Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
- Asylees and asylum seekers
- Students and exchange visitors
- Spouses of U.S. citizens
- Dependents of foreign government officials
- J-2 spouses or minor children of exchange visitors
- Other non-citizen, non-resident workers as applicable
How to Obtain a Work Permit
Once your eligibility is established, the application process for an EAD is fairly straightforward. It involves filling out Form I-765 and filing it with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services by mail. You should include eligibility paperwork that proves that you fit one of the categories mentioned above and include photos and any applicable fees.
Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers at the Law Offices of MC Law Group, LLC Assist Immigrant Workers
Obtaining work is essential for providing a good life for yourself and your family. If you are a foreign national looking for work, contact a Philadelphia immigration lawyer at the Law Offices of MC Law Group, LLC today. We can help you complete the legal paperwork to find gainful employment. Contact us online or call us at 215-496-0690 to schedule a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout the tri-state area, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and nationwide.