Tag: EAD

WORKING DURING GREEN CARD APPLICATION PROCESSING: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

WORKING DURING GREEN CARD APPLICATION PROCESSING: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Are you navigating the process of applying for a green card in the United States and wondering about your eligibility to work during this period? The journey to obtaining permanent residency can be complex, especially when it comes to employment authorization. In this detailed guide, we’ll delve into the ins and outs of working legally in the U.S. while your green card application is pending and explore the steps involved in obtaining employment authorization.

Applying for Employment Authorization:

Individuals with a pending green card application can work legally in the U.S. by obtaining employment authorization from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). To apply for employment authorization, you’ll need to submit Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, along with the required filing fee and supporting documents. These documents typically include a government-issued identity document, passport or travel document, and two passport-style photographs.

Understanding Processing Times:

The processing time for employment authorization varies, but USCIS typically processes these requests before other applications to reduce wait times for applicants. If you’re simultaneously applying for a green card and employment authorization, you may also consider applying for a travel document (Form I-131, known as advance parole) to facilitate travel outside the U.S. while your application is pending.

Receiving Your Employment Authorization Document (EAD):

Upon approval of your employment authorization application, you’ll receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), also known as a work permit. This card serves as physical proof of your authorization to work in the U.S. and contains essential information, including your photograph and fingerprint. It’s crucial to present your EAD to potential employers to demonstrate your eligibility for employment.

Renewing Your EAD:

EADs typically remain valid for two years and can be renewed in two-year intervals. To prevent a disruption in your employment authorization, it’s essential to file for renewal within 180 days of the expiration date of your current EAD. USCIS recommends using the USCIS Case Status Online System to track the status of your EAD and ensure timely renewal.

Transitioning After Green Card Approval:

Once your green card application is approved, you’ll no longer need an EAD to work legally in the U.S. As a lawful permanent resident, you’ll have unrestricted authorization to work for any employer in the country. However, it’s crucial to maintain compliance with all applicable immigration laws and regulations throughout the process.

Understanding the Consequences of Unlawful Employment:

Working without proper employment authorization can have serious consequences, including ineligibility for adjustment of status (green card), removal proceedings, and inadmissibility for future entry into the United States. It’s essential to avoid unlawful employment and seek legal guidance to navigate the complexities of immigration law effectively.

Exploring Legal Income Options:

While awaiting employment authorization, individuals can explore passive income opportunities, such as financial investments in savings accounts, stocks, or bonds. Consulting with an immigration attorney can provide valuable guidance on lawful income generation and ensure compliance with immigration laws and regulations.

Navigating employment authorization while your green card application is pending requires careful attention to detail and adherence to USCIS guidelines. By understanding the application process, processing times, and legal implications of employment authorization, you can navigate this aspect of the immigration journey with confidence. Seeking guidance from an experienced immigration attorney can provide invaluable support and ensure compliance with all relevant laws and regulations.

The Temporary 540-Day EAD Extension Rule

An Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is a work permit issued to individuals in many different immigration categories. If you receive an EAD, it may be used to prove to an employer that you are legally authorized to work in the United States. If you are eligible for an EAD, you may submit an application on Form I-765, with photos and fees, if required. As long as you remain eligible for an EAD, you may apply to renew the EAD before it expires. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has previously granted an automatic 180-day extension to work authorization while an EAD renewal application is pending for certain applicants.

You may be eligible for an automatic extension of work authorization if:

  1. You timely filed your Form I-765 before the before the date that your current EAD has expired or within the applicable filing period for TPS applicants.
  2. You are applying to renew your EAD in the same category as your previous EAD. (There is an exception for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) beneficiaries or pending applicants: their EAD and renewal application must contain either the A12 or C19 category, but the categories do not have to match each other.)
  3. Your eligibility for employment authorization is NOT dependent on the adjudication of another benefit.

Now, due to historically long processing times, USCIS has temporarily increased the automatic extension period for up to 540 days, while an EAD renewal application is pending. The change was formalized through a Temporary Final Rule, which will remain in place through October 26, 2023. After October 26, 2023, USCIS has indicated that it will revert to 180-day automatic extensions.

To receive the automatic extension of up to 540 days, you must timely file an EAD renewal application in an eligible category (see next page) by October 27, 2023.

As proof of your employment authorization, you will present your expired or expiring EAD and the Form I-797C receipt notice that USCIS sent you after you filed your EAD renewal application. Your employer is required to verify or reverify your employment authorization and record the details of the documents that you present on Form I-9.

If you or your employer are confused about when your work authorization extension will now expire, you’re not alone! USCIS has created an online tool to assist you and your employer in calculating your work authorization extension date: https://www.uscis.gov/i-9-central/form-i-9-resources/employment-authorization-document-ead-automatic-extensioncalculator.

Finally, if your EAD renewal application is denied, then the automatic extension of work authorization may end before the 540-day period. your work authorization, please discuss the specifics of your situation with an attorney.

The Temporary 540-Day EAD Extension Rule

 

As proof of your employment authorization, you will present your expired or expiring EAD and the Form I-797C receipt notice that USCIS sent you after you filed your EAD renewal application. Your employer is required to verify or reverify your employment authorization and record the details of the documents that you present on Form I-9.

If you or your employer are confused about when your work authorization extension will now expire, you’re not alone! USCIS has created an online tool to assist you and your employer in calculating your work authorization extension date: https://www.uscis.gov/i-9-central/form-i-9-resources/employment-authorization-document-ead-automatic-extensioncalculator.

Finally, if your EAD renewal application is denied, then the automatic extension of work authorization may end before the 540-day period.

The EAD categories eligible for the 540-day automatic extension to work authorization (as indicated on Form I-765 under “Class Requested” at the time of the EAD renewal application) are:

540-Day EAD Extension Rule

If you have questions about your eligibility for an extension of your work authorization, please discuss the specifics of your situation with an attorney or find an immigration attorney via https://www.ailalawyer.org.

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