When a person wants to live and work permanently in the U.S., they first need to apply for a Green Card. They can also apply for temporary permission to work in the country for a limited amount of time. Once a person becomes a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident with a Green Card, they will not need any other documentation to prove their employment eligibility.
The official permit aliens need to provide to potential U.S. employers is called the Employment Authorization Document. In most cases, an EAD is valid for a year and is renewable. Aliens may be eligible to apply for an EAD if they are a refugee, student, asylum seeker, or a dependent of a foreign government official. They can also apply if they are married to a U.S. citizen.
Applying for an EAD requires filling out and submitting form: I-765. Renewals of the EAD can be submitted up to 120 days before the expiration date. Where the completed application is filed may change depending on a person’s eligibility category. An immigration lawyer may be able to provide application assistance and direction, especially in complicated cases.
Once applicants are approved and have their EAD, they may continue their employment search. All U.S. employers are required to verify every hired worker’s authorization to work in the country, so non-citizens may have to present their EAD during the hiring process. Depending on one’s immigration and/or citizenship status, they may also have to provide documents such as a birth certificate and social security card.