Living in another country is an adventurous experience because you learn a new language, immerse yourself in the local culture and meet new acquaintances. That said, if you plan to work in a different country — especially the United States — you need to obtain a work permit.
A work permit — sometimes called a work permit visa — is what foreign workers need in their possession to gain employment in the U.S. If you’re wondering whether you’re eligible for a work permit, read about the qualifying categories below.
You may qualify for a work permit if:
You and your family members are refugees
If you, your spouse and your children are escaping a war-torn area or a tyrannical regime, you can apply for an asylum work permit, also known as an EAD (Employment Authorization Document). The work permit application process for refugees usually takes between three to six months.
You’re an F-1 student seeking employment
Some F-1 students seek employment via OPT (Optional Practical Training), a program that allows them to work in a field related to their major for up to a year. (It’s up to two years if they major in STEM fields.) They may also pursue off-campus employment due to financial hardship or through international sponsorship.
You’re applying for temporary protected status
Temporary protected status is similar to asylum except those applying for it plan to stay in the U.S. during a short-term but extendable time. Furthermore, people wanting temporary protected status were previously undocumented and had been living in the States for several years.
These are just a few of several examples of work permit eligibility. Do you have any questions regarding the application process or work permits in general? If so, please reach out to experienced legal guidance to assist you in your situation.