USCIS Employment Authorization —
Who Needs It, How to Get It

You may be required to file for USCIS employment authorization depending on your status when you came (or come) into the country. Here, you can find out if you need to obtain permission from the USCIS before you can get a job and work legally in the United States.

Employment Authorization — Who Needs It?

Some spouses and fiancées who are here legally, or coming here legally, do need to obtain permission from the USCIS before they can work. If you are here based on marital relationship, you need to file for authorization to work in the US if you:

  • Are in the US legally on another visa and are filing or have filed for an Adjustment of Status
  • Are in the US on a fiancée or 'K' visa

There are many categories of people who need to apply for employment authorization that fall outside the categories of green card by marriage applicants. If you are unsure, check with the USCIS.

If you have already been granted a green card and entered the US with it, you do not need to apply for employment authorization. Your green card is your authorization. If you have become a naturalized citizen, you do not need authorization, either.

Employment Authorization — How to Get It?

To file for employment authorization, you need to file form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, with the Regional Service Center that serves your area. Some people qualify to file the application electronically. You can check with the CIS to see if electronic filing is a possibility for you.

You do need to submit documents, photographs, and fee with the application. To speed approval, submit everything required with the application.

You do not need to wait for your green card to begin your new life in America. Your legal status—through a temporary visa or fiancée visa—is all you need to apply for USCIS employment authorization. File the application now and start your new life as you wait for permanent resident status.

(Please note—some people will already have valid EAD through their original visa; if this is the case, you may not need to file for further employment authorization, but do be sure to check with the CIS or with a legal representative or immigration advisor).

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