Before receiving a green card, immigrants wishing to work must necessarily have a work permit (Employment Authorization Card).
A work permit is a document that allows foreign citizens who are temporarily staying in the country to work legally in the United States. A work permit is also the basis for obtaining a social security number (SSN).
This document can get holders of immigration and some nonimmigrant visas. The work permit is issued by the Citizenship and Immigration Services of the United States based on the application of special form I-765.
The permit itself is a plastic card with personal data of a person and an indication of its validity. The validity of the work permit in the United States is 1 year.
The following categories of foreigners have the right to it:
- Refugees and asylum-seekers, their spouses and children;
- Persons who are seeking asylum;
- Foreign students who want to undergo facultative practical training in their profession;
- Applicants for permanent resident status;
- People applying for the status of a temporary refugee or having this status;
- Persons belonging to some nationalities (for example, citizens of Palau, Micronesia, Marshall Islands);
- Spouses and children of persons working in diplomatic institutions and international agencies;
- Persons who are based in the United States on employment-based visas;
- Persons who are in the United States for family visas, as a bride or groom of a US citizen.
You can fill out the form I-765 for obtaining a work permit in the US either independently or by contacting a lawyer. The services of the latter will cost $ 70-100.
All the information necessary to complete the form is on the website of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. In addition to the form itself, you can find a detailed instruction on how to fill it in, and a form for receiving electronic notifications from the Citizenship and Immigration Service about accepting and further promoting the application.
Filling out the form — step by step
In the upper field, we do not write anything – the employee of the US Citizenship and Immigration Service fills this field.
Begin filling the line — I am applying for…
Put a tick against the item — Permission to accept employment.
The form also has two more options for its submission:
- If you do not just apply for the first time to work permit in the US, but you already have it, but its annual validity has expired. Then you tick — Renewal of my permission to accept employment
- If you lose your work permit, you must select the option — Replacement of lost employment authorization document
Further, we fill each point, starting with the first.
1. Specify your name, surname, patronymic (if it is indicated in the passport), all you write the same as in your passport.
2. Other names: here write your other names and surnames if you have ever changed them. Women indicate their maiden name. If not, write — NONE.
3. Your current mailing address in the USA.
4. Indicate the country of your citizenship.
5. Specify the place of your birth: city and country.
6. Date of your birth.
7. Your gender.
8. Marital status.
9. If you ever had a social security number (SNN) – indicate it. If not, write NONE.
10. Here you specify your alien identification number, which is assigned to you according to your migration status or number from form I-94.
11. At this point, you will ask if you have ever applied for a work permit in the US. Mark “yes” or “no”. If yes, you need to specify the filing date, to which office the documents were submitted and what was the result.
12. Here you need to specify the date of your last entry into the US.
13. In this point, you need to specify the place of your last entry into the US – city, state.
14. Specify the status of your stay in the US, that is, the reason you crossed the country’s border for the last time. It can be a tourist status – B1/B2, a student – F1 – and so on.
15. Your status for which you are in the US.
This point, in fact, duplicates the previous one. Since the persons who are eligible for a work permit in the US, the final decision on their permanent stay in the country has not yet been made, the reason for their presence in the country from the moment of arrival does not change. If you crossed the US border, for example, on a tourist visa, then at this point of the form you also write – B1 / B2.
16. Here, it is necessary to indicate your category, that is, on what grounds a person applies for a work permit in the United States. You will need to select the appropriate category according to your migration status. The category can be determined by viewing the Instruction to Form I-765. For example, waiting for political asylum interviews indicate the category – (c) (8) and so on, according to the instruction.
17. This item fills only a certain category of people, namely (c) (3) (C) – students with a degree in science, technology, engineering or mathematics for a 24-month extension of additional hands-on training in the company. Here you need to indicate your degree in science, technology, engineering or mathematics, your employer’s name and company identification number where you will pass this practice.
18. This item also fills only certain categories, namely (c) (26) – spouses of people who are in the United States on a working H-1B visa, who also want a work permit. At this point, they need to indicate the number received by the main spouse for the visa H-1B.
At the end of the form, the first signature is yours. After it, you put the date of filling out the form and your phone number.
The second signature below is the signature of an attorney or official who helped you fill out the document. If you worked with a lawyer, he must also fill out the G-28 form, in which he needs to provide his data. It needs to attach in an envelope with all your documents.
Required documents for Application for Employment Authorization
Together with the form I-765, it is necessary to send such documents (in individual cases, the list may differ):
- The copy of the passport (the main page, the page with the visa);
- The copy of Form I-94;
- The copy of the document confirming that you applied for a change of your migration status in the United States, your case has been accepted by the migration service and is under consideration;
- Two photos of the format, like a passport – 2х2 inches (about 5х5 cm), made no earlier than 30 days before the date of filling in the form. On the back of each photo you need to write your name and surname in English and your alien registration number that identifies your migration status;
- The copy of the social security number (SSN), if you have one;
- Form G-28 if a lawyer contacted you.
To date, the payment for filing for Form I-765 is $ 380. This figure may change annually. However, there are categories that are exempt from paying the fee for filing the I-765 form for the first time. The categories such as:
- (A) (3) – refugees;
- (A) (4) – pardoned as refugees;
- (A) (5) – immigrants who apply for political asylum;
- (A) (7) – submitting a form for nonimmigrant visas N-8 or N-9 (parents of immigrants of special status);
- (A) (8) – citizens of Micronesia, Marshall Islands or Palau;
- (A) (10) – people who are allowed to refuse deportation;
- (A) (16) – victims of severe trafficking in human beings (T-1);
- (A) (19) – nonimmigrant status of U-1 (victims of crimes such as rape, domestic violence or torture);
- (C) (1), (c) (4), or (c) (7) – foreign rulers, international organizations or NATO employees;
- (C) (8) – applicants for political asylum;
- (C) (31) – plaintiffs under the law on violence against women.
Form I-765 is filled out for each member of the family separately. Documents for the family can be put together in one envelope. On behalf of children under 14, one of their parents or a legal representative signs the form.
If you want to additionally subscribe to an email notification when your business will be accepted and how it’s progressing (it’s best done), then you need to fill out one more small form — Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance.
This is a subscription to receive electronic notifications about the progress of your application. In this form, at the very bottom, you will only need to indicate your name, surname, email and phone number. Moreover, to put this form you need the very first in the envelope, then – the form I-765 and all your copies of documents.
Only one person can fill form G-1145.
You will need to send the envelope to certain addresses, depending on the state in which you reside, and the postal service (U. S. Postal Service or Express mail and courier deliveries). For each category of work permit, their addresses are indicated.