Employers in the United States are legally required to make sure all employees, regardless of citizenship or national origin, are authorized to work in the United States before hiring them. Employers confirm this by requiring that immigrants show that they have an employment authorization document (EAD).
EADs are commonly referred to as work permits.
A work permit (EAD) is not the same as a work visa, which allows you to work for a specific employer. Once you have a work permit, you can work for any employer in the U.S.
You will need to apply for an EAD if you:
- Are authorized to work in the United States because of your immigration status;
- Are authorized to work in the United States because of your circumstances (for example, you are an asylee, refugee, DACA, or u nonimmigrant) and need evidence of that employment authorization; or
- Are required to apply for permission to work. Examples include:
- You have a pending Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status)
- You have a pending Form I-589 (Application for Asylum for Withholding of Removal).
- You have a nonimmigrant status that allows you to be in the United States but does not allow you to work in the United States without first seeking permission from USCIS (such as an F-1 or M-1 student).
Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs), also known as green card holders, are not required to apply for employment authorization. You also do not need to apply for an EAD if you have a nonimmigrant visa that authorizes you to work for a specific employer (H1B, L1B, O, or P visa).
Working in the United States without an EAD is never a good idea and could lead to deportation. You could also be barred from entering the U.S. for 3 -10 years and could have a harder time trying to apply in the future.
If you would like to learn more about working in the United States, contact the employment-based immigration attorneys at the Scott Law Firm today!