Do you want to know how to get a work permit to work in the US? If you are hoping to living and work in the USA, you are in good luck! Work authorizations for adult citizens are not required by the federal agency, US Department of Labor. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports about 17.4% of non-US born individuals (foreigners) make up the labor force. So if you are thinking about applying to work legally in the US, you are not alone. But be warned. Certain migrants are required to obtain an Employment Authorization Document for USCIS, or the US Citizenship and Immigrations Service within the federal agency, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
For perspective, the USCIS in 2020 issued approximately 2 million employment permits to non US citizens. Even though this amount may seem pretty large, Vox estimates that the US government is experiencing a huge backlog! About 1 million immigrants are still waiting to have their applications for work authorizations to be processed. While it takes less than 15 minutes to process an official authorization to work application, it can take about 8 months to 1 year to receive an official permit to work in the US from the National Benefits Center.
Plus, don’t forget, state governments do require work permits which demonstrate proof of age for minors so that they can obtain work legally.
How to get a work permit in the USA
Employment permits for nonimmigrant visa holders
You may wonder how to become authorized to work if you are residing in the US as a nonimmigrant visa holder. It is possible to be legally allowed to work in the US if you have entered the US on a temporary basis. What does this mean? You could have traveled to the US and entered legally as a:
- business person
- seasonal, temporary worker
Steps to get a work permit as nonimmigrant visa holder
Apply for a (EAD) Work authorization Form I-765
Generally, a nonimmigrant with the types visas indicated above are not permitted to work in the US. However, it is possible to obtain permission to work by submitting an Application for Employment Authorization (EAD) to USCIS. This application for authorization to work is referred to as Form I-765. This type of employment permit is valid for 1-2 years. USCIS offices are dispersed throughout major cities and towns. You can find your nearest USCIS office here.