Employment Authorization Lawyers in Houston Are There When You Need Help Gaining Work Status
Being able to work is an important part of starting life in a new country. It ensures you have the income to support yourself and can help you make meaningful connections in the community. However, there are very specific laws about the circumstances under which immigrants are eligible to work in the United States. Violating these laws or working when you don’t have legal status can mean severe consequences, including possible deportation. Keep reading to find out what you need to be able to legally work in the United States and how an employment authorization lawyer can help.
If you aren’t sure if you are currently eligible for work in the United States or if you need help filing for employment authorization, the Law Office of Shelle-Ann Simon, PLLC can help. Call today to speak to a member of our team and schedule an informational appointment.
What Documents Do I Need to Be Able to Legally Work?
In the United States, all workers must be legally eligible to be employed. Different industries and positions may have other requirements, but in general, you need to be a U.S. citizen or have employment authorization as an immigrant. An Employment Authorization Document, also called Form I-766, is a legal document that you can show a prospective employer to prove that you are able to legally work in the position. In general, you will need an EAD if you do not have a status that automatically allows you to work, such as a Green Card.
What Is the Wait Time for an Employment Authorization Document?
Processing times for immigration documents are detailed on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ website and may change on a regular basis, depending on staffing, the location of the service center, and the number of applications. You can check the website to find the most current processing times, but as of 2023, 80% of applications were being processed in 11 months at the Texas service center.
How Long Is an EAD Good For?
In February 2022, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office lengthened the maximum validity period for an Employment Authorization Document to 2 years. This time period applies to those who have legal refugee status, have been granted asylum, are in the country under a VAWA petition, or have been given a withholding of removal or deportation. If you have been granted deferred action or qualify under humanitarian reasons or “significant public benefit,” you may be able to have an active EAD until the end of your deferred action or parole. It is also possible to renew an EAD, but it’s important to follow the proper procedures and make sure you have everything in on time to avoid it expiring while you’re waiting.
What Should I Do If My Application Was Denied?
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office is responsible for processing EAD applications. If the USCIS denies your EAD application, you may be able to file an appeal. In general, you have 30 days from when you were notified of the denial to start your appeal. This is a short time frame because you will need to have all of your supporting documents ready, which can take time, to go with your appeal. This is why it’s important to talk with an immigration attorney when you are submitting your application so that if you do get a denial, you are immediately ready to proceed with an appeal. Appeals can be difficult to navigate, and it’s important to work with an experienced immigration attorney who has worked on these types of cases before.
Immigration law is complex, and it can be difficult to understand when you’re able to work, and in what jobs, but you don’t have to figure it all out alone. We understand the common challenges of getting legal work status, and we’ve helped many clients successfully navigate them. Find out how our firm can help you with employment authorization and what you need to know about the process by calling 281-606-0800.