Want to work while your green card application is pending? Good news! Many permanent residence applicants qualify for a work permit while waiting for their green card.
If you are applying for a green card from within the United States, you likely qualify for a work permit while your permanent residency application is pending. This process, called “adjustment of status,” allows you stay in the U.S. throughout the green card application process and work. You are not required to leave the country to attend a visa interview. Below are three ways paths to get a green card through adjustment of status.
Applicants who are required to leave the U.S. to attend a visa interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad, unfortunately, do not qualify for a work permit.
3 Ways to Get a Family-Based Green Card without Having to Leave the Country (AKA Adjustment of Status)
How do you qualify to apply for a green card from within the United States? There are three basic ways. These paths are for people who otherwise qualify for a green card but may have entered the country illegally, illegally worked in the U.S., or have failed to maintain lawful status.
Adjustment of Status through the LIFE Act, 245(i) Adjustment
The LIFE Act or 245(i) is a special policy that allows people to apply for a green card even if they entered the U.S. illegally, illegally worked in the U.S., or have failed to maintain lawful status. To qualify, you must have been the beneficiary of an immigrant visa petition (Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative or I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker) filed on or before April 30, 2001. You might have a 245(i) as a derivative applicant if an immediate relative such as a parent or former spouse was approved for an immigrant petition.
If you think you may have a 245(i), it’s a good idea to consult with an immigration attorney. Because that is a big golden ticket.
Adjustment of Status by Virtue of a Lawful Entry into the United States
Another way to immigrate in the US is through what's called “lawful entry.” If your last entry to the United States was lawful, you may qualify for a green card through adjustment of status. Lawful entry simply means that you were lawfully inspected and admitted into the United States at a U.S. port of entry.
It’s important to note that in some cases, your entry may be considered a “lawful inspection and admission” even if you entered with no documents or fake documents and were let in regardless. You may need a waiver to forgive any possible issues of fraud, but the fact that you presented yourself at the border for inspection and the officer admitted you may be enough to qualify you for adjustment of status. The tricky part to this process is finding sufficient evidence of such an entry and, in some cases, filing for additional waivers. If this applies to you, it’s a good idea to seek the advice of an immigration attorney.
Adjustment of Status through Military Relative
You may qualify for a U.S. green card if you have a relative in the U.S. military—even if you are currently living in the U.S. without legal status. This process is called “Parole in Place” this is a path to permanent residency for spouses, widows, parents and children of active or honorably discharged U.S. military.
How to Apply for a Work Permit
You can apply for a work permit at the same time you apply for your green card. Simply file both forms at the same time: Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization and I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. If you’ve already filed your I-485, you can still apply for a work permit by filing the I-765 separately. It usually takes about 90 days to receive your work permit.
Immigration Help: Get a Work Permit with Pending Green Card Application
If you have any questions about getting a work permit while waiting for a green card, I'd be happy to help. I’m a dedicated and passionate immigration attorney, fluent in English and Spanish, located in the Los Angeles area. Call (310) 803-3040 or visit https://abaudlegal.com/appointment/ to schedule an appointment.
Sharon was very professional, knowledgeable and very informative...
My husband and I had the best experience working with Sharon. I HIGHLY recommend her. She helped us with our immigration process and made us feel at ease every step of the way. Sharon was very professional, knowledgeable and very informative whenever we needed questions answered she was there from the very beginning until the very end, making sure we were prepared. Words can't explain how grateful my husband and I are. We would definitely not hesitate to contact her for any future services.