The word Immigrant has always brought to mind imagery of faded sepia colored photographs with the thousands of nameless faces getting off ships at Ellis Island in New York, coming from every corner of the earth to be processed before entering the United States. It also invokes the words of the famous quote from Emma Lazarus which says:
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door”
Now this influx of people from all around the globe has been going on now for about one hundred and fifty years by many people seeking freedom of religion, freedom of speech and economic prosperity. My family, like so many others before and after us, went through this same process some 60 years ago, although we got off of an airplane in New York and not a ship. Needless to say, this is a traumatic step for anyone when they are faced with leaving their family and country behind. This even applies to those seeking some relief, protection or shelter from persecution and who are looking for the freedoms granted to every American citizen by the US Constitution as well as the Bill of Rights. But once the decision is taken the next step is to adapt to the situation and to make the best of things and to take advantage of everything the US has to offer.
So, let’s say that you are one of the fortunate people who has been granted an Immigrant’s Visa to the United States after the lengthy process which is involved to obtain this document. What comes next? One can assume that the basic necessities are involved in your following decision, and of course in a certain order which might be: food, shelter, clothing and especially important may be the need for income or, more specifically, money coming from some source of work. At this point, it is important to make mention of the fact that to work legally in the United States it is necessary to have a work permit, and all of the Immigrant Visas and a few of the Non-Immigrant Visas allow people to work legally in the United States. More specifically the E-2, E-1, L.-1, H-1B and B-1 Visas as well as a few of the Non- Immigrant Visas.
Now, as you may know, the United States is a very popular place for people from other parts of the world who are looking to live the American dream, and that dream is due to the economic prosperity and numerous opportunities and extensive wealth, which can be found there. But to live this dream you will first need to obtain a Work Permit, and to do so you will have to go through a series of steps which are listed as follows:
Steps To Obtain A Work Permit
- Eligible applicants may file the I-765 form on line or file a paper I-765 form application.
- There is a filing fee to be paid of $380 for the I-765 form just for one person and an additional $85 dollars for deferred action on childhood arrivals, or in other words when you bring the rest of your immediate family members in.
- Once your I-765 form has been accepted, it will be reviewed by the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) office to see if it is complete.
- The USCIS may require additional information including documentation or an interview from you at their office. Should they require additional documentation you must produce the original documentation for verification purposes.
- There is a normal term for processing that may vary from one office to another but it is usually mailed to you within 90 days. If it does not arrive in that time you may go by your local USCIS office and request a temporary work permit until yours has been delivered.
- Once your permit has been approved it will either be mailed to you at your residential address or you can go by the USCIS office and pick it up personally.
As I mentioned before, the filing of the I-765 form can be done on-line as a prerequisite prior to being issued a work permit or as it is also known, an EAD (Employment Authorization Document). During this process, you will need to remember the documents that are necessary and must be included to have a complete application. In these internet sites, you can download the I-765 form itself where you will see the types of questions you will be asked which is 2 pages long and which asks the usual questions including:
- Your full name
- Mailing address
- Country of Citizenship or Nationality
- Place of Birth
- Date of Birth
- Marital status
- Your Eligibility Category
- Social Security Number
- Alien Registration Number
- Date of entry to the US
- Place of entry to the US
- Status at last entry
- Current Immigration Status
Living and working in the United States may be your goal, but as you can see this is a process which will require you to follow these steps. When completing the on-line or paper I-765 form, the most important thing for you to keep in mind is the transparency, accuracy and the moment when you choose your own particular category which will surely affect the final approval of your EAD card. Good luck with this process and be sure to stay tuned for more of our informative blogs.
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