How to obtain a work license and how much does it cost

You get the word license Through the application for Employment Authorization by submitting form I.765 to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, after which you will pay a fee as a fee that is not refundable.

Therefore, you must be sure that you are eligible, because knowing the eligibility criteria is essential, so keep reading.

How to apply for a United States Work Permit (EAD)

The application process to obtain a United States work permit (also called an employment authorization document or EAD) is fairly straightforward. You must fill out a one-page form, attach the fee, photos, and documents that prove you are eligible, and submit it to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

The trick, however, is to make sure that you are eligible. A work permit is available only to limited groups of immigrants, generally those who are in the process of applying for adjustment of status (a green card) or who have some temporary right to be in the United States. (For more details, see Who qualifies for a work permit in the United States?)

Also, do not confuse applying for a work permit with applying for a work visa to the United States, such as an H-1B. This is a much more complicated application process. See this article on how to get an H-1B visa.

Filling out Form I-765

The form you will use to apply for a work permit is Form I-765, available for free download on the USCIS website.

Most of the form is self-explanatory. You will write your name, contact information, etc. In Question 12, they really want your most recent entry to the US, even if you’ve been living here for a while and just took a short trip abroad. “Entry form” asks about the type of visa you used to enter.

Question 16 is probably the one that will require the most effort. You will need to look at the I-765 instructions (also on the USCIS website) to find out which eligibility category you are in. For example, some of the more common categories include category (a) (5) for someone who was granted asylum, (a) (12) for people with Temporary Protected Status (TPS), (c) (3) (C) for students doing optional hands-on training after completion, (c) (5) for J-2 spouses of a J-1 exchange visitor, and (c) (9) for anyone who has a pending application for adjustment of status (green card) status>.

If your category has only two letters or numbers (like (c) (9)), don’t worry about the fact that there are three spaces in the form (made up of the parentheses). Just put the “c” in the second parenthesis and the “9” in the third.

How to obtain proof of eligibility for a work permit

To prove that you qualify for a work permit, you will need to make a photocopy of whatever shows the status you described in Question 16. For example, if you applied as an asylee, attach a copy of the letter from the office asylum or the order of the judge who granted you asylum. The instructions for Form I-765 detail what documents you must submit.

Note, however, that if you are applying for a work permit at the same time as applying for status, such as for adjustment of status or TPS, you do not need to include proof of eligibility. The USCIS will find out that you are eligible from the application you submitted.

Set the appropriate rate

The fee amount is $ 380 as of 2016. But USCIS fee amounts increase frequently, so check the website for updates. If you are requesting deferred action , you must also pay a biometrics fee of $ 85. Also note that some categories of applicants do not need to pay the fee, such as those who concurrently file to adjust status for a green card (they are covered by their I-485 fee); review the instructions for Form I-765 to see if you are among them.

You will pay by check or money order (not cash) if you mail your application. If you file your return electronically, you can pay by credit card, debit card, or electronic funds transfer from a US bank checking or savings account.

Submit your EAD application

There are two ways to submit your I-765 application to USCIS: by mail or by e-filing (online, through a computer). Electronic filing can be convenient for payment, and because it allows you to fill out and submit Form I-765 online. But keep in mind that you will still have to mail your supporting documents.

If you are mailing the entire package, look carefully at which address to use – it is based on your eligibility category and is different for people who use US mail and those who use a package or courier.

If you are mailing the entire package, look carefully at which address to use – it’s based on your eligibility category and is different for people using US mail and those using a package or courier.

Make a complete copy of everything in your package, including checks, before shipping.

How much does a work license cost in California

To obtain the word license, the UCIS requires that when you submit the application you make a payment of $ 380 and even if you have hired an attorney to help you with this procedure, they will also charge you a fee.

Presentation fee:

As an applicant, first of all you need to know your eligibility category, which are indicated on the I-765 form and also, you may have to pay a renewal fee depending on your case.

If you are a person with immigrant status, you must pay renewal fees.

If you prefer to have an attorney help you complete Form I-765, they will charge you for their fees. For these types of standard services, most immigration attorneys charge a flat fee, with a $ 250 to $ 500 fee being the most common for this service.

It is even likely that they will bill for services separately such as the costs of documents and photocopies, but you can ask the lawyer for an estimate of these costs in advance and you will also need two color photographs to be sent with the application, which can have a value of 10 dollars.

Keep in mind that the federal government creates different visa classifications with application restrictions to different types of workers and industries.

When submitting the application you must pay a fee of 410 dollars, but if you apply for DACA, as a young person, you must pay 85 dollars more for biometric tests, that is, you will pay 495 dollars in total if you are a young person.

But you will not pay the fee when you apply for the work permit for the first time if you belong to the refugee category or are the holder of the N8 / N-9 or T-1 visa

How to apply for a work license in California

To obtain the word license, You should know that in California there is the Professional Licensing Law, with which the California Department of Consumer Affairs considers applicants with the federal tax identification number issued by the Department of Internal Revenue or IRS, as it is a proof identification that did not exist before, since only the social security number was necessary.

But keep in mind that while the law authorizes the state to issue professional licenses to an undocumented immigrant, it does not replace a work permit, nor can you apply for a job from the government or a private company.

However, it is a law that helps you if you have the ITIN number, because to acquire the license you will present the identification number as an ITIN taxpayer, granted by the federal government if you do not have the social security number and in turn you must pass the exams that correspond according to the profession or your trade.

Therefore, as an undocumented person in California, you can carry out the licensing process to be able to practice different professions or trades such as stylist, pharmacist, doctor, dentist, estate agent, gardener, cosmetologist or nurse.

However, if you want to work legally in the United States, you must obtain a work permit, which is known as EAD, which is only granted to people in immigration status.

Who can apply for an EAD:

The people eligible to apply for a work permit are:

  1. Political refugees with their spouse and children.
  2. Isolated persons with pending or granted status.
  3. Citizens of Marshall Islands, Palau or Micronesia.
  4. Vocational students with M-1 visa.
  5. Teachers or professors holding D or J-1 exchange visas with their spouses and children.
  6. Vocational students with an M-1 visa who after finishing their studies want to improve themselves in practice.
  7. Dependents of G visa holders for employment in United States organizations.
  8. Dependents of a foreigner with an A1 / A / 2 or NATO visa.
  9. People with a B-1 visa.
  10. The husband or wife of a person with an E / 1 / E-2 visa and investor.
  11. The husband or wife of a person with an L-1 visa.
  12. The boyfriend or girlfriend of a US citizen and children with a K-1 or K-2 visa.
  13. The husband or wife of a student with a K-3 visa and their children.
  14. People with a N-8 / N-9 visa.
  15. People who are victims of domestic violence.
  16. Foreigners with a U-1 visa who are victims of torture, domestic violence or victims of violent events and family members under this same type of visa.
  17. The beneficiaries of the SIJ program.
  18. Applicants for a Green card.

To apply for the work permit, you must complete the I 765 form and submit it online or on paper, prior to checking if you qualify.

Therefore, you must understand that there are groups of foreigners who must present different documentation.

But beyond the alien groups, all must submit together with the application to the USCIS:

  1. Copy of the I-94 form, unless you request a change of status.
  2. Copy of the front and back of previous work permits.
  3. Two passport-size color photos that have been taken no more than 30 days prior to submitting the application.

Adjustment of status:

You can apply for adjustment of status by submitting certain documents along with the application, as they are documents requested from any type of applicant.

You will apply for adjustment of status by completing the I-485 form, which you can find on the official website of the Citizenship and Immigration Service and the payment will be made to the Department of Homeland Security with a cost that varies according to different factors:

For example: Children under 14 years of age who apply for adjustment of status together with one of their parents who are also applicants, has a cost of $ 635.

In the case of children under 14 years of age who request the change of status without their parents, it has a cost of $ 985,

For people between the ages of 14 and 78, the cost is $ 985 plus $ 85 for biometrics.

Starting at 79 years of age, the cost is $ 985.

As documentation it is necessary to attach a copy of the birth certificate stamped by the authority that issued it and translated by a translator who certifies that translation.

For adjustment of status it is also necessary to attach two passport-size photographs that are taken no more than 30 days before submitting the application.


United States Citizenship and Immigration Services

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