Certain individuals who are in the United States temporarily can apply for work authorization. Many of our clients qualify for work authorization under the following applications, programs or policies:
1. Cancellation of removal for certain non-permanent residents An individual in removal proceedings, meaning he or she is required to appear before an immigration judge, may be eligible to apply for cancellation of removal as a form of relief from removal. Once the application is filed with the court, the client may apply for work authorization with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If approved, the individual will receive work authorization for one year. Work authorization can be renewed while the individual is still in removal proceedings.
2. U-visa An individual whose U-visa application is approved is (usually) automatically eligible for work authorization. A principal U-visa recipient will usually receive work authorization for the duration of the U-visa, which is typically four years. See our blog, “I was the victim of a crime. Do I qualify for a U-visa?” to determine if you are eligible to apply for a U-visa.
3. DACA Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a program that allows qualified individuals to remain in the US temporarily despite the fact that they have no immigration status. Individuals receiving DACA are eligible for work authorization. In addition to the $380 filing fee required for most work authorization applications, DACA applicants must pay an additional $85 biometrics fee.
4. Final order of deportation An individual with a final order of deportation may be eligible to apply for work authorization if he or she has been placed on an Order of Supervision by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). This typically happens when:
- The individual cannot be removed to his or her country because of country conditions or;
- When the individual has applied and been approved for a stay of deportation. The Order of Supervision requires the individual to report regularly to an ICE officer. Work authorization granted under this category is typically valid for one year and must be renewed.
Benefits of work authorization
Work authorization allows an individual to work in the US legally, even if he or she does not have lawful status (for example, the person is in removal proceedings or has an application pending with USCIS). With work authorization, an individual may be able to obtain a social security number and a driver’s license.
Please understand that the above list is not exhaustive. Individuals seeking other types of relief, for example, Temporary Protected Status, Parole in Place, VAWA and Asylum, may also be eligible to apply for work authorization. It is also important to note that work authorization is typically granted for only one year and must be renewed if the person remains eligible.
An individual may also be eligible for work authorization based on sponsorship by his or her employer. For more information on employment-based immigration applications, please watch our video “Employer visas” or read our blog “Start preparing for the H-1B visa deadline & lottery.”
Contact the Atlanta Immigration Law Attorneys at Antonini & Cohen today
The Immigration Law attorneys at Antonini & Cohen can help you determine whether you are eligible for work authorization. If you are eligible, we can guide you through the application process. To schedule a consultation today, call 404-523-8141 or fill out a contact form.