An employment authorization, known popularly as a “work permit,” is a document issued by The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that gives the holder a legal right to work in the US. It is different than a green card. Certain non-residents who are temporarily in the United States may file a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, to request an employment authorization. An employment authorization is issued for a specific period of time. Foreign nationals with an employment authorization can lawfully work in the United States for any employer. Through another program, aliens who are sponsored by specific United States employers and issued temporary work visas are authorized to work for that sponsoring employer.
It may take a great deal of time to receive an answer to an I-765 petition, so sometimes an interim authorization may be granted. An interim authorization can be issued to an eligible applicant when USCIS has not adjudicated an application within 90 days of receipt of a properly filed application or within 30 days of receipt of a properly filed asylum-related application. An interim authorization will only be granted for 240 days.
An employment authorization is issued as a plastic card with multiple security features and contains basic biographical information to include name, birth date, gender, immigrant category, country of birth, photo, alien registration number, card number, any restrictive terms and conditions, and validity dates.
People who would like to become immigrants based on employment or a job offer may apply for permanent residence or an immigrant visa when they are outside of the country. Entry in this category is limited therefore there may be lengthy waits. The U.S. Department of State is the agency that allocates and grants visa numbers. Employment based visas are limited to 140,000 per year. Additionally, there are limits to the percentage of visas that can be allotted to each country. Currently, about 234,000 people have applied for employment-based adjustment of status green cards in the United States and are waiting for approval. If you are interested in obtaining a visa in a competitive category such as employment, it is particularly helpful to have the advice and assistance of an experienced immigration attorney.
If you would like to apply for a work authorization, consult with an experienced immigration attorney. It is always a good idea to consult with an immigration attorney when you prepare an immigration-related petition or waiver request to obtain legal advice and assistance. Also, an attorney can assist you in identifying and collecting the best evidence to support your petition or waiver request.