A work permit is required while working for a United States based firm for your family green card application (Form I-485) to be processed. It is possible to work in the United States while your green card application is being processed if you have an H-1B or L-1 visa. An employment authorization document must be obtained if you do not already have one before you may begin working in the United States.
In order to get a work permit, relatives of United States citizens must submit an initial green card application package, which includes a work permit application. Relatives of green card holders must wait to apply for a work permit until they are qualified to apply for their green card.
Details on how to Work in the United States while you wait for your green card
- How long do you have to wait for a work permit before you can start working?
In most cases, work permit is given five months from the dayUnited States Citizenship and Immigration Services receives your application for a work permit.
Because of an increasing backlog, the usual processing period for work permit applications was 90 days until recently. Also, USCIS’s website provides a monthly update on current processing timeframes.) Just be informed that you cannot apply for a work permit until your green card application has been approved (Form I-485).
It takes 19 to 25 months for relatives of green card holders to receive a visa number before they may file the I-485. A visa number is not required for relatives of U.S. citizens, and they can submit their work permit applications along with the original application package, which contains the I-485. An application for a work permit on your behalf cannot be submitted by your relative. It is your responsibility to sign the work permit application (Form I-765) on behalf of your family member.
- Documents needed for a Work Permit Application
A range of documents must be shown to apply for a work visa. Your I-94 travel record (if applicable) and past work permits are the most crucial (if any). Applicants who have not already been granted a work permit, you’ll need further identification. A complete list of papers is necessary for the work permit in our comprehensive guide to the work permit application process.
- The Costs of Work Application
Working in the United States is free whether you apply before or after filing for a family-based green card (Form I-485).
Important Reminder: No limitations apply to the kind of job that can be done under a family-based green card work permit. If you have a valid work permit, you can accept any otherwise lawful job too. As long as you have a work permit linked with your family-based green card application, you’re free to work as much as you desire. Working hours are not limited.
Your work permit will instantly expire after U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services accepts your green card application. After becoming a permanent resident, you won’t require another work permit. It is possible to work in the United States before you have your green card.
- Work while you are abroad
There are no work permits accessible to relatives of U.S. citizens or permanent residents until they apply for their green card from within the United States. Those who live overseas, can only work in the United States once their green card application has been approved by the Department of Homeland Security. Before you may leave the United States while your green card application is pending, you must first apply for and be granted travel permission (technically termed an “Advance Parole Travel Document”).
Therefore, you cannot apply for a U.S. work permit while you are residing overseas except you have a green card.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will consider your green card application “abandoned” if you leave the country before your travel permit application is granted. Your work permit may only be issued once your travel permission has been granted.
You can only have the option of staying in the United States to work (with an authorized work permit) or traveling and working overseas after your travel permission has been issued. The processing time for both work permits and travel permits is typically five months but can take up to seven months in extreme circumstances. Assuming you are already in the U.S. and have filed for a green card, you may be interested in filing for a travel permit for travel outside of the U.S. Otherwise, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services may consider your green card application abandoned if you depart without a travel document.
If you’re a relative of a U.S. citizen, these applications are part of the same filing package as the green card application.
To obtain a work or travel permit, you’ll need to apply for a green card as a relative of someone who has one. A travel document can be obtained at the same time as a Green Card. If your application is still open, you can apply at a later time.
A work permit may be accessible to those who are in the U.S. and are applying for family-based green cards, have a K-1 fiancé visa, or are the spouse of an H-1B visa-holder. Work permits can be obtained by F-1 students studying in the U.S. on a student visa.
A travel document may be necessary for those who already hold a green card and wish to leave the United States for a period of time more than a year but less than two years. When a change of status (AOS) is completed, a two-year work permit will be given.