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Can I Work While Waiting for My Green Card?

If you or a loved one has legally entered the U.S. and filed for a green card application, you may be waiting years before the green card is finally approved. Rather than do nothing while waiting for the documentation to be approved, many may choose to work. Thankfully, it is possible for those waiting on their green card to work in the U.S.

Work Permit

If you are waiting on your green card and want to work, you must apply for a work permit. A work permit, also known as an Employment Authorization Document, is issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and looks similar to a driver’s license.

To apply for a work permit you will need the following:

  • A copy of your Form I-94; your passport; or any other travel documents;
  • Two identical photographs (similar to what you would get when getting your passport picture taken);
  • A copy of your most recent Employment Authorization Document (if applicable);
  • Any additional government-issued identification documents; and,
  • Form G-28 (if you are being represented by an attorney or other accredited representative).

If you are interested in getting a work permit, it’s better to act sooner than later when filling out the paperwork because it could take anywhere from 90 days to seven months for an application to be processed. Prior to COVID-19, the waiting period was on the shorter end but because of a backlog work permit applications are taking around five to seven months to be processed.

Unlike most USCIS applications, obtaining a work permit is free and can be submitted before or after filing for your green card. If you are granted a work permit, there are no restrictions on where you can work.

Don’t Fill Out a Work Permit Alone

If you are filling out a work permit you shouldn’t have to do it alone. At Murray Osorio PLLC we can help with all immigration matters including assistance with green card applications and work permit applications. For all your immigration needs, turn to our full-service immigration firm. Contact us today to get started — (703) 952-3275.