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Am I Currently Able To Get A U.S. Workers Permit (EAD)?


When you are planning to move to the United States, or you are already in residence here on a non-permanent basis, you need to be aware of your rights to work in this country. Here at Reiner & Pleva PLLC, we represent immigrant individuals who are defending their immigration status, or who are seeking immigration status and the right to work and live in the US.

If you need compassionate and expert immigration law representation, please contact us to schedule a consultation meeting. We believe every person, no matter their immigration status, deserves the best representation. We, at Reiner and Pleva, PLLC., offer this quality representation.

In this article, we discuss some key things to know about acquiring a U.S Workers Permit (EAD), including who is eligible.


Who can get a U.S Workers Permit (EAD)?


One of the first questions we get asked by our clients is: “Am I eligible for a US workers permit, also known as an EAD?” Many foreign nationals are eligible for a workers permit, including for those who are waiting for approval of a Green Card application, or for those who are in the United States as a nonimmigrant.

So who is eligible for an EAD? Here’s what you should know…

  • A person waiting on a Green Card application.

When you apply for a Green Card, you are also eligible to apply for a workers permit, as well. When your green card application is pending, your EAD card could be approved and you can start working legally while the government is considering your lawful permanent resident status. Often, getting work permission while the green card application is pending is crucial because you can support yourselves and your families during this transition period.

  • Foreign students.

If you are in the US temporarily for education and have an F-1 visa, you are not allowed to work in the United States to support yourself. However, you are allowed to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) and thus gain a workers permit for a limited time. OPT is temporary employment that is directly related to an F-1 student’s major area of study. Eligible students can apply to receive up to 12 months of OPT employment authorization before completing their academic studies (pre-completion) and/or after completing their academic studies (post-completion). However, all periods of pre-completion OPT will be deducted from the available period of post-completion OPT.

  • Asylum seekers.

Individuals seeking asylum have the right to work in the US. However, this right has changed significantly since the Trump administration. Before 2020, Asylum seekers who hadn't received a decision in the 150 days after properly applying could also start their work permit application using Form I-765. USCIS could give one a work permit 30 days after receiving one’s complete application. So, the total wait time was at least 180 days. Yet, today, if you have applied for asylum, and your application has been in process for more than 365 days, you can then apply for a Work Permit. There are some restrictions and some exceptions to this restrictive rule so consulting with a knowledgeable immigration attorney is crucial. We, at Reiner and Pleva, PLLC, have the expertise to help you.

  • Persons With Temporary Protective Status (TPS) in the United States

Foreign nationals in the United States from countries where the Attorney General has designated that it is unsafe to return to because of armed conflict, natural disaster, or other extraordinary circumstances can apply for TPS and an EAD. This humanitarian relief is temporary and lasts as long as the Attorney General continues the designation. To see if you qualify for this relief from deportation and subsequently a workers permit, contact us at Reiner and Pleva, PLLC.

  • Some persons with pending immigration proceedings

Some foreign nationals in immigration proceedings may be eligible for a workers permit when their case is still pending and it has not been decided by an immigration judge. This is critical to understand since cases can take years to be concluded. For example, those who have Cancellation of Removal cases pending in court, are able to apply for a workers permit. Often it will take two or more years for a judge to hear their case and during that time, they can work legally.

We, at Reiner and Pleva, can help you to understand if you are eligible to apply for a workers permit.

  • Other people with extenuating circumstances.

There are some individuals who don’t fall into these listed categories, but that doesn’t mean they can’t apply for a US workers permit (EAD). If you feel that you qualify for an EAD but you aren’t featured in this list, call us today to seek friendly advice from a specialist immigration lawyer.


If you are trying to understand how to apply for the EAD, you may find all the information overwhelming.


To request a consultation with us, complete our consultation form online, which is available in English, Spanish, and Chinese.

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