In your dreams of becoming a permanent resident or citizen of the United States you likely imagined the pleasures of living in this country which, of course, would require that you have a job. The incredible work opportunities of this country are often what encourages people to undergo the extensive process of immigrating, but immigration services places strict regulations on who may and may not legally work within this country. This is why as soon as you make the decision to seek employment in the United States, regardless of where you are in your permanent residency or citizenship process you are, you should seek the representation of a work permit attorney.
A work permit attorney is an immigration attorney that has specialized knowledge of the employment regulations that are in place and any modifications to the laws that have been made recently.
This is valuable because attorneys that are not fully up-to-date on the laws and regulations may guide you in the wrong direction and make it much more difficult for you to gain employment, and may even complicate your permanent residency or citizenship efforts.
It is important for you to understand that all employers within the United States are required by law to verify that every applicant is legally allowed to work in the United State prior to offering employment. Many employers will request what is known as an Employment Authorization Document as easy verification of legal employability. A work permit attorney will help you to understand this document, as well as the process of obtaining one prior to seeking employment.
Different Types of Employment Authorization Documents
There are four Employment Authorization Documents available. Your work permit attorney can help you to understand what each of these entail and which would be most appropriate for your situation to facilitate the process of obtaining your EAD as quickly as possible. These document versions include:
- Employment Authorization Document (EAD): the basic document to prove employability
- Renewal Employment Authorization Document: a document that will replace an EAD that has expired. To ensure that you are not uncovered at any point you should apply for this renewal no less than 6 months prior to the expiration of your EAD
- Replacement Employment Authorization Document: a document that will replace an EAD that has been damaged, lost, stolen or contains inaccurate information
- Interim Employment Authorization Document: a document that can cover you should you be denied, or not approved, for your EAD within three months of your initial application
How Do You Qualify for an EAD?
Your work permit attorney will first work with you to determine if you are eligible for an EAD. You should be aware that if you are a citizen of the U.S. or are a lawful permanent resident of eligible working age you are not required to have a work permit to seek employment. You will, however, need an EAD if you are:
- A student seeking employment during your studies
- Seeking asylum in this country
- The fiancé of an American citizen
It is not guaranteed that you will receive an EAD if you apply for one. The help of a work permit attorney, however, can help you get through the process in the most effective way possible. Ask your immigration attorney if he can help you with this process, or for a referral to an attorney that can.