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How to Apply for a Work Permit

How to Apply for a Work Permit in the U.S? (updated 2021)

Are you looking to work in the United States? You may be interested in gaining a temporary work visa or an employment-based green card. You will find several temporary work visas with specific times, allowing you to stay in the U.S. With an employment green card, you can acquire a permanent resident. It may also depend on what type of employment you are seeking.

work permit

Applying for a Work Permit

The application process for acquiring a U.S. work permit is an employment authorization document (EAD). You have to fill out a one-page form, get your photos attached, and your legal documents that ensure your eligibility. Then, submit the requirements to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service.

1. Temporary Work Visa of U.S

With a temporary work visa, you can work lawfully in the U.S. as a nonimmigrant worker. It would help if you qualified for the available visa category on a planned employment purpose base. It follows the steps that may vary based on different conditions.

The visa is eligible for about three years, depending on the employment event and length. However, you have options to extend the temporary visa but only for a one-year increment.

2.Green Card-based Employment

U.S immigration offers different ways to become a lawful permanent resident and earn a green card through your employment in the U.S. It involves usual process based on three steps:

  • Successful completion of permanent labor certification (PERM process)
  • Acquiring approval of 1-140 petitions in place of foreign worker
  • Six months to several years for completion
  • Eligibility criteria for a U.S. work permit
  • Typically, a small number of immigrants become eligible to obtain a work permit and mainly if you are in the process of applying for a green card or if you have a temporary right to live in the U.S.
  • You can often get EAD if you are a k-1 fiance visa holder, spouse of various visa holders, or if you have Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or Differed Enforced Departure (DED).
  • Remember to apply for a work permit when applying for a work visa to the United States like an H-1B. Nevertheless, it is a more complicated process.

Importance of U.S. Work Permit

Do you want to work in the U.S.? Many people worldwide have made it a goal to work in this country. You need to obtain a U.S. work visa to work here lawfully. However, different U.S work visas have other eligibility criteria.

Is it essential to verify as an employee that you are authorized to work in the U.S. Either you are a permanent resident, asylees, refugee, or your immigration authorization is based on immigration results? Suppose you don’t fall under the category like you don’t have a family member of employment-based nonimmigrant. You need to apply for an EAD from USCIS. You have to select to submit the documentation to present your employment authorization based on the employee’s immigration status.

Requirements for U.S. Work Permit

  • Passport is authentic for 60 days before the expiration date on an immigrant visa.
  • Complete the process of Form DS-260,
  • Two photographs of 2×2
  • Medical examination form completion
  • Civil documents of the applicant
  • Financial support (while giving your immigrant interview visa to the consular officer that you will not work as a public charge in the U.S.)
  • It would help if you got a photocopy proving that you qualify to become an authorized worker. For instance, if you are applying as an asylee, you need to attach a photocopy of the asylum officer letter or senior judge’s order.
  • You can get the complete instruction for submission of documents in Form 1-765. However, you need to submit your authorized documents that show your eligibility.

These are the general requirements that every individual needs to have other than essential documents.

The Time Process for U.S Work Permit

The time process for a U.S work visa depends upon the type of visa you want to apply for and the place of the application process.

For instance: If you are playing for an H1B visa and getting processed in California, it will take 8 to 10.5 months. If you intend to apply for the same visa through the Vermont service center, it would approximately take 6.5 to 8.5 months. It is more favorable to consult your U.S work visa provider for the variation of place.

Filling out USCIS Form 1-765 for a Work Permit

You can get Form 1-765 from the USCIS website that you need to fill out to get a work permit.

Most of the form is self-explanatory. The first and foremost thing you need to do is fill in your credentials, including:

  • Your name
  • Contact information
  • And others
  • They also require proof of your most recent entry in the U.S.
  • You will find the option “Manner of entry” that asks to enter the type of visa you used to come in.
  • You need to fill in your eligibility criteria by following instructions in the 1-765 Form and the USCIS website.
  • You have to go along the categories to fill on like :
  • If you are someone who was granted asylum
  • If you are one with Temporary Protected Status(TPS)
  • If you are a student and doing post-completion optional practice training
  • For spouses of an exchange visitor
  • If your adjustment of status (Green Card) is pending

Rejection of your Work Permit

There may be two main reasons for your work permit denial.

The first reason may be you filled out Form 1-765 incorrectly with incomplete credentials. Maybe you forgot to include a photocopy of the original USCIS after you applied for Green Card.

The second reason that does not occur often is that your green card application process was so quick that it was approved before your work permit application process finished.

DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) provides protection for eligible undocumented immigrants who came to the United States with their parents in their childhood. DACA has rules to provide employment authorization (work permit) and protection. It takes around 60 days to provide your work permit. You can start your application process after you receive your work permit and Social Security number.

Green Card Holders Requirements

Permanent residents who are non-US citizens have the authorization to live and permit to work permanently in the U.S. People often obtain their green card from a family-based green card or employment-based green card. USCIS allows the green card to many applicants throughout the year.

The groups who obtain green cards belong to the following categories:


What can I do in case of losing my EAD card?

If your EAD card gets lost, stolen, or destroyed, you can request replacement EAD by filing a new Form 1-765 and paying the required fee if you get the approval. In case of not receiving an EAD mailed by USCIS, you need to submit an inquiry for the non-delivery of the card.

How long does it typically take to replace the lost EAD card?

It usually takes 60-90 days to get the EAD card replaced. It is not likely to expedite the application. Having your original approval notice from USCIS along with your employer permit, you are eligible to continue working during your replacement application.

How long does it usually take to get a work permit in the U.S?

It usually takes about 150-210 days (5-7 months) to get the work permit application processed from USCIS. Previously, USCIS took 90 days to process applications, but additional delays have occurred due to the growing backlog.

Do you need a work permit at 16?

Generally, all minors under 18 years of age are required to have a work permit before starting a job. For aliens to work legally in the United States, they must obtain a work permit or work visa before starting working.

Does a 17-year-old need a work permit in California?

The answer should be yes.

How can I get a work permit in the USA?

If you meet the eligibility requirement, you can apply for a work permit with USCIS Form I-765 (“Application for Employment Authorization”).

 When and how to apply for a work permit?

If you meet the eligibility requirement, you can apply for a work permit with USCIS Form I-765 (“Application for Employment Authorization”).

What is work permit and types?

What are the types of Work Permits? In immigration, there are more than 50 types of work permits available to aliens to apply for. Each one has its eligibility requirements.

Final Words

It is incredibly significant to get professional help to strengthen your case. It has a more reliable chance of being accepted because there are many applicants each year worldwide. If you filled in incomplete or misleading details, it could lead to the rejection of your application. You have a higher chance of acceptance if you have the correct database of your information. You will find the documentation and processes of work permits in the U.S are complex, so it is better to take legal help.

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