Career Advice - A Community Blog

Erik Larson writes about the job market, resume improvement, and career advice

How to Get a Permit to Work in the US

Written by Erik Larson, Community Blogger | Jan 23, 2018 12:45 AM

People in the United States from foreign countries often want to work for a period of time before they return to their home country. Many companies need these type of workers. In order to legally do this, it will require a U.S. work permit. This is also referred to as an employment authorization document or EAD.


In order to obtain a U.S. work permit, the process is considered straightforward. It involves filling out a one-page form. With this form needs to be attached photos and payment of the required fee. Documents showing a person is eligible to work in the United States must be attached. Everything must then be given to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for processing.


It's important to realize a U.S. work permit is only available to certain groups of people. Those who have applied for a green card or are applying for an adjustment in their immigration status are one group. Should someone have been given a temporary right to be in the United States is another group. Other groups are asylum seekers, students seeking specific types of employment, refugees and more.

Form I-765

This is the form that needs to be completed in order to obtain a U.S. work permit. The majority of the form is easy to complete and is self-explanatory. The part of the form that requires the most attention is question 16. This is where a person needs to identify their eligibility. This is where an individual can claim they have been granted asylum, students doing optional practical training, spouse, exchange visitor and more.

Proof Of Eligibility

It is essential a person attach a photocopy of what documents confirm their citizenship status. Should someone have the status of being granted asylum, they'll need to attach a judge's order that granted them asylum. It could also be a marriage certificate showing a legal marriage between the person and a principal E-2C. It may be documents showing a person has obtained E-2C status. It could also be a Foreign Investment Certificate as well as Long-Term Business Certificate and more.


In most cases, the fee will be approximately $410 as of 2018. It is common for these fees to regularly increase. Should a person be trying to get deferred action, they will also need to pay an additional $85 biometric fee. In some situations, people will not be required to pay a fee to file Form I-765. This would apply to individuals also trying to receive an adjustment in their immigration status to obtain a green card. The instructions on Form I-765 identifies the categories of individuals who do not have to pay the required fee.

Submitting Form I-765

It is possible for a person to submit their completed Form I-765, supporting documents, and fees the UCIS it two ways. They can be submitted by mail or online using the e-filing system. Many people prefer the convenience associated with filling the form and paying online. Should a person choose the option of e-filing Form I-765, they will still need to mail copies of their supporting documents to UCIS. When people want to send anything by mail to the UCIS; they need to use the correct address. The proper address will be determined by the category of a person's eligibility. There is also a different address for people using a courier or package delivery service or U.S. Mail.

"Your company believes true talent transcends country borders and political bureaucracies" is why your employer is willing to sponsor your visa, according to The Shapiro Law Group.


Once a person's form Form I-765 is approved, they will be issued a photo identity card from the USCIS. This will function as a work permit. It looks similar to a driver's license. Once a person has the work permit, they are required to show it to all employers. This is proof they have a legal right to work in the United States. All businesses in the United States are required to ask new employees for proof of their legal right to work in the United States as well as their immigration status.

It's not complicated for people and companies to follow the proper legal steps to obtain a work permit. It's easy for mistakes to happen. Sometimes paperwork is misplaced, improperly completed, needs additional documents and more. An experienced attorney will know how to help in this situation and help correct a problem.

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