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Can I Work in the US While Waiting for My Green Card?

Featured image by hodgesce13 from Pixabay 

If you recently moved to the US from another country, you may have noticed that the United States is not exactly cheap. You really need to work while you are waiting for your green card, and you are wondering if you can. Similarly, if you are a business owner in the US, you may be wondering if you can hire workers who do not yet have their green cards. Read on to find out.


What You Need to Do Before Getting Your Green Card

Just applying for a green card does not mean that you can legally work in the US. You will have to get a work permit called an Employment Authorization Document if you want to have employment while you wait for your green card.

If you do not get an EAD card, your employer may get in trouble, and your adventures in America may be over before they have begun. It is important to do things right every step of the way.

How to Get an EAD While Waiting for Your Green Card

In order to get an EAD form, you will have to fill out an I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. If you are issued a card, you will be issued a Social Security Number. This is an important step in the process of obtaining a green card.

The form asks basic questions about your country of origin and your last arrival to the United States. You will also need to answer questions about how you got to the US and if you have ever been arrested. You will need to provide your birth certificate and other forms of identification from your country of origin.

There is a $410 filing fee for the application and an $85 fee for biometrics registration. Biometrics are physical and behavioral characteristics that are used for identification. They may be everything from your fingerprints to your voice to your DNA.

There are some circumstances under which the fee may be waived, such as if you are seeking asylum. Another case might be if you are a dependent child of a person who is the spouse of a beneficiary of an employment-based immigrant petitioner who is experiencing difficult financial circumstances.

Why You Need a Lawyer

You might have been told you could get a green card without an attorney. However, although it may be an added expense, it is not a bad idea to have an attorney go over your application before you turn it in. This is especially important if you have entered the country illegally or if you have ever been arrested.

The form asks questions about your housing situation and your income. An attorney can advise you on how to answer those questions properly. They can inform you of your rights and assist you with an appeal if your application is denied.

According to lawyer Saman Movassaghi Gonzalez, that attorney can also assist you with getting a green card.

The Basic Process for Getting a Green Card

You can get a green card through family relationships or an employer who wants to hire you. Also, you may get a green card if you are a refugee or if you are a victim of a violent crime. If you are eligible for a green card, you will want to fill out form I-485. Many post offices will have you bring your application to a lockbox.

The application fees range from $750 to $1,140. What you will pay depends on your age. You will not have to pay any fee if you are a refugee. You will then have your biometrics appointment and an interview. If you do get approved, you will have your permanent resident card for the next ten years.


America may be a hard place to gain residency. However, once you do have your green card, you will find that it is one of the most diverse and beautiful countries in the world.