Work In The United States While Waiting For Your Green Card

If you are keen to start working in the United States before your green card application has been processed and sent to your postal address, you may be searching for valuable information on whether or not you can legally work in the United States, while you wait for your card. To discover the rules and regulations which apply to different sets of circumstances, simply continue reading.

Can I Work In The U.S. While Waiting For My Green Card?

If You Already Hold A Work Permit

If you are currently residing in the United States and currently hold a valid work permit, such as an H-1B visa or an L-1 visa, you are permitted to continue working, while you wait to receive your visa in the mail. If however, you hold a work permit that has expired, you'll be required to apply for a new work permit or wait for your status to change to permanent resident, before you'll be able to start working legally in the United States.

If You Are Waiting For An Employer Sponsored Card To Be Issued

There is a possibility that you may be legally able to work in the United States, while you're waiting for your employer sponsored card to be issued. For example, it's possible for your sponsor to apply for a temporary work visa that will allow you to fly to the United States and start working before you receive your green card in the post. So if the primary reason for your shift to the United States is to work and you already have an employer who is willing to sponsor your card, they should be able to apply for a temporary work visa for you.

If You Are Waiting For A Family Sponsored Card To Be Issued

If you file a petition for a family sponsored visa through an immediate family member who is a US citizen or a permanent resident, such as a spouse, parent, or sibling, you must apply for a work permit to start working in the United States. If you wish to start working before you receive your visa.

If your sponsor is a fully-fledged US citizen, you can actually submit your form for a work permit at the same time that you submit your petition for permanent residency. In fact, you'll find a work permit form included in your green card application package.

Alternatively, if your sponsor is only a permanent resident in the United States, you won't be able to submit your work permit application, until you have checked that you are eligible to apply for a family sponsored visa. You'll also need to wait till you are issued a visa number before you'll be able to submit your work permit application.

However, it's important to note that you can only apply for a work visa if you are currently based in the United States. If you still reside outside of the United States, you will not be eligible to apply for a work permit and will need to wait for your application to be processed, to accept a job in the United States. Keep in mind that it's not possible for your sponsor in the United States to file an application for a work permit on your behalf. As you must sign your application form yourself.

Required Documents To Apply For A Work Permit

If you have access to your I-94 travel record, make sure to include this record with your work permit application as well as any previous work permits which you have been issued in the past. If you're applying for your first US work permit, you'll also be required to provide proof of identification.

Possibility To Work In The U.S. While Your K1 Fiance Visa Is Being Processed

If you are currently engaged to a US citizen or permanent resident, you won't be able to apply for a work permit until you've entered the United States on your 90 day K1 fiance visa. For this reason, it's possible that even if you submit your work permit application within days of entering the United States, you may not receive your work permit in time to work in the United States, before you get married and receive your official green card. For this reason, you may want to wait until you're legally married and receive your green card in order to apply for your first job in the United States.

If you're insistent on applying for a work permit before your legal marriage ceremony, it's in your best interest to fill out form I-765 and submit it directly to the USCIS on your first full day in the country. In order to increase your chances of receiving your temporary work permit, before the end of your 90 day K1 fiance visa.

Fees Associated With Work Permit Application

If you apply for residency through an immediate family member, you won't need to pay any fees in order to apply for a work permit.

Are There Strict Regulations Tied To US Work Permits?

If you apply for your work permit as part of a family sponsored visa, the types of employment that you'll be able to engage in will not be restricted. You'll also be free to choose whether you'd like to take up a part-time position or a full-time position.

In Conclusion

If you still reside outside of the United States, you won't be able to apply for a work permit until you have arrived in the country. However, if you are applying for a green card through an employer, they may be able to obtain a temporary work visa for you. So that you'll be able to start your new position as soon as possible. If you are applying for residency through a K1 fiance, it may be difficult to process a work permit before you are legally married. Lastly, if you are applying for permanent residence through an immediate family member, if you are already in the United States, you'll be able to file a work permit application that will allow you to legally work in the United States before you receive your visa.

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Also Read - Reasons For A Green Card To Be Denied/Declined
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