Employment And Your Green Card: What You Need To Know

Anyone immigrating to the United States and hoping to make this country their home will need to apply for a green card. A green card affords immigrants permanent residence status, meaning that they can live and work in the United States indefinitely.

In order to obtain a green card, you will need to be sponsored by a family member or spouse. In addition, some immigrants can be sponsored by certain humanitarian organizations. 

The process of obtaining a green card can take time, and there are some questions that may arise regarding your ability to generate an income during the waiting period.

File a Green Card Application

You must file a green card application as soon as possible if you want to become a permanent resident of the United States. Individuals without the right visa will be unable to work while they are awaiting the results of their application review.

It can take a significant amount of time for the government to complete all the interviews and background checks necessary to grant approval for a green card. If you are hoping to be able to work during this time, you must file additional paperwork along with your green card application. This process can be complicated, so you may want to look into immigration lawyers that could assist you. 

Apply for Employment Authorization

As long as you have a green card application with a pending status filed with the federal government, you, and your legal representation, can file a separate form to request authorization to work while your application is being reviewed.

This form, officially known as Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization, is designed to act as a short-term solution for those hoping to work while awaiting the results of a green card application.

If your employment authorization form is approved, you will be able to legally work in the United States until either your green card application is approved or the expiration date on the employment authorization passes (a year from the issue date).

Apply for an Extension

There are some individuals who find that it can take more than a year for their green card authorization to come through. If this pertains to you, then you still have options available to you when it comes to legally keeping your job.

You can file to renew your employment authorization for another year, as long as your green card application is still listed as pending in the federal government's system.

Don't let a delay in the processing of your green card application prevent you from working. Partner with an experienced immigration attorney to obtain temporary employment authorization.

To learn more about the process of working legally in the United States, contact an immigration law office in your area.