Work in US while You wait for Your Green Card: FAQs, Work Permit, Green Card Application and possible Requirements for the Green Card Visa

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Every immigrant staying and working in Us would always jump to this offer anytime it shows up, getting a US green card visa is not quiet easy but there are easy ways and steps to secure the visa while you work in the country, therefore if you ever think of how possible it is for you to work in US while you wait for your green card visa then maybe you should consider reading this article as we dish out a little information of the eligibility and requirements status for a green card visa as you stay in US.

Work in US while You wait for Your Green Card

Firstly, it is important to maintain legal status while in the United States. Maintaining legal status becomes even more important when waiting to receive a green card from the USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services).

If you are currently waiting on a decision from the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) in relation to your Green Card application, the chances are that you will want to start work to support yourself and your family.

Non-immigrants in America who have filed Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, have to remain in the country until the USCIS approves their application for a green card.

The best thing to do to get the visa is to stay in the country, meet up with the requirements and the wait for approval.

However, if you are eager travel outside U.S. while awaiting approval, according to U.S. immigration law, you need to apply for advance permission to leave the country.

This process is known as “Advance Parole” in immigration terminology. You can gain advance parole from USCIS by filing Form I-131, Application for Travel Document.

Furthermore, there will be a lot of rules and restrictions you must follow while you travel outside. If you break them, you will put your future green card at risk.

Therefore, it is advisable to get a clear understanding of these rules before you leave the country on advance parole.

What you must do and the Essence of Form I-765

If you want to work in the U.S. while your application for permanent status is pending, you may need to fill Form I-765.

The form is the; Application for Employment Authorization Document, to obtain a work permit. However, in order to do so, you need to have a visa that allows you to work in the U.S.

If you do not have a visa that allows you work and doesn’t meet the requirements for Form I-765, your potential employer may be able to request a visa change on your behalf.

Individuals who want to work and reside permanently in the U.S. may file Form I-485 to apply for a green card.

The green card allows you to live and work indefinitely in the U.S and it is a good step toward acquiring U.S. citizenship.

The application process can take several months or year to complete, either way just make sure you meet up with the requirements.

All About Work Permits (Definition)

A work permit is officially known as an Employment Authorization Document, or EAD for short. The EAD looks like a Driver’s license, and it also serves as a photo ID. It is issued by the U.S citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and can be presented as evidence that you are authorized to be employed in the United States for a specific time period.

Documents You need for a Work Permit (Work in US while You wait for Your Green Card)

Let’s look at the below documents for a work permit:

  • A copy of your Form I-94, Nonimmigrant Arrival-Departure Record (front and back), a printout of your electronic Form I-94, or your passport or other travel document
  • Two identical passport-style photographs
  • A copy of your last EAD (if applicable)
  • If you were not previously issued an EAD, you must submit a copy of a government-issued identity document
  • Form G-28 (if you are represented by an attorney or accredited representative).

Working in U.S. Without a Visa

If you’re a non-citizen who applied for a visa to become a permanent resident, but you haven’t received a green card, you are not authorized to work in the country (US) legally.

If you want to start working in the U.S. you need to obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), which serves as a work permit.

FAQs on the Work Permit and Green Card Process (Work in US while You wait for Your Green Card)

How Long Do I Have to Wait for a Work Permit?

Your work permit will arrive within some months after U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) receives your work permit application.

Time limits for work permits varies and are not constant anyways. The underlying petition filed with the application to adjust status (the I-485 form), greatly affect the processing times.

Generally, if you filed form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) and form I-485 your processing times will be most likely be between 6-8 months.

You can check the most current processing times, updated monthly, on the USCIS website.

What documents do I need to submit with my work permit application?

Several travel documents are needed to apply for a work permit. The most important of these include your I-94 travel record (if available) and previous work permits (if any).

Additional identification documents are required if you haven’t previously been issued a work permit.

How much does it cost to Apply for a work permit?

It will be best to obtain these information from the USCIS forum. It will be best to obtain a work permit whether you submit your application before or after filing your green card application (Form I-485).

What if I Work Without A Work Permit? (Work in US while You wait for Your Green Card)

It may be very difficult to find a job without a work permit or valid work visa due to the fact that most U.S. employers will ask for it before they offer employment.

Even if you manage to get employment without authorization, you will be putting both yourself and your employer in a very big danger.

Since it generally takes just a few months to get an EAD, it is better to be patient instead of seeking unauthorized employment that could affect your immigration status.

What If I Have Been Working Without Permission While Waiting For My Green Card?

There may be laws exercised by USCIS if you have been working without permission (i.e. you have not completed your I-765 form and received a work permit).

However, it depends on how long you have been working. Typically, you can expect your I-485 application to be approved if you have worked for no more than 180 days since you were last granted permission to enter the US.

If you have worked for longer, there is a risk that your Green Card application may be refused.

Can I apply for a Green card and work permit in the U.S and go back to my home country to work? (Work in US while You wait for Your Green Card)

Note: it not advisable to leave the U.S while in the process of applying for your green card unless you applied for and received an Advance Parole Travel Document.

Leaving the U.S before receiving Advance parole will result in a determination that you have abandoned your green card application.

What happens to my work permit after my green card application is approved?

Once USCIS approves your green card application, your work permit will automatically terminate. As a permanent resident, you will no longer need a separate work permit.

You will be completely authorized to work in the United States even before your physical green card arrives.

Can I apply for my green card and a U.S work permit while in my home country

You may apply for a green card, but not for a U.S. work permit, while living abroad. Work permits are available only to relatives of U.S. citizens and green card holders who file their green card application from within the United States.

A) Eligibility for Adjustment of Status (Work in US while You wait for Your Green Card)

You must meet the following requirements to be eligible for a green card…

  • You properly file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status;
  • You were inspected and admitted or inspected and paroled into the United States;
  • Applicant is physically present in the United States at the time you file your Form I-485;
  • You are eligible to receive an immigrant visa;
  • An immigrant visa is immediately available to you at the time you file your Form I-485 and at the time USCIS makes a final decision on your application.
  • NOTE: For information on visa availability, see Visa Availability and Priority DatesAdjustment of Status Filing Charts, and the Department of State website to view the Visa Bulletin);
  • Applicant must be in valid visa status (including that you have not violated the terms of your visa, for example by dropping out of school if you were on an F-1 student visa, or by working without authorization).
  • The job offered to you in the Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker still exists with the employer that filed the Form I-140 on your behalf, and you plan to accept the job once USCIS approves your Form I-485.
  • If you filed Form I-140 as a self-petitioner, you must plan to work in the same or similar occupational field as specified in your Form I-140;
    • Note: Even if you have a new job or employer, section 204(j) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) allows the approved Form I-140 to remain valid for adjustment of status purposes if:
      • You submit evidence that the new job is in the same or a similar occupational classification as the job in the original Form I-140; and
      • The Form I-485 you filed based on the Form I-140 remains unadjudicated for 180 days or more; and
  • None of the applicable bars to adjustment of status apply to you;
  • Applicant must merit the favorable exercise of USCIS’ discretion.
  • You are admissible to the United States for lawful permanent residence or eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility or other form of relief’

B) Eligibility to Receive an Immigrant Visa

  • An approved Form I-140 filed on your behalf;
  • A pending Form I-140 (that is ultimately approved); or
  • A Form I-485 filed together with the Form I-140 (and the Form I-140 is ultimately approved).

How to Apply

If you are currently in the United States, an immigrant visa is immediately available to you as an EB-1, EB-2, or EB-3 immigrant, and you meet certain other requirements.

You may file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, to apply for a Green Card without leaving the country. This is called “adjustment of status.” If a visa is immediately available, you may file your Form I-485:

  • Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker filed on your behalf;
  • While the Form I-140 is pending; or
  • After the Form I-140 is approved (and remains valid).
1 Comment
  1. Sulemana Sharifatu says

    Please I want a sponsorship visa that can live me to get a green card

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