How to Get a Work Permit for Asylum Applicants?

Individuals sometimes come to the United States for protection from persecution in their home country because of their race, religion, nationality, membership in certain social groups, or political opinions. These expatriates can apply for asylum and get authorized to work. 

If you’re a refugee seeking asylum, you may want to obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). An EAD is also known as a work permit. Getting a work permit as an asylum applicant isn’t difficult, so long as you fit the criteria and follow the instructions to do so carefully. 

united states employment authorization card
A United States employment authorization card wrapped in an American flag. Learn how you can get a work permit as an asylum applicant today.

Why Is Obtaining a Work Permit Important? 

Asylees can work immediately without an EAD. But asylees who want a card can apply by submitting Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. While you don’t necessarily need to apply for work authorization according to the USCIS, it’s still beneficial to have one. 

An EAD does more than just allow you to work as an asylum applicant. You can use it as an ID as the permit is a card that includes your photo, name, birth date, USCIS number, immigration category, and expiration date. 

Your Asylum Application Matters

Whether or not you get a work permit is highly dependent on your application for asylum. There would be no point in getting a work permit if you aren’t accepted as an asylee, to begin with. If for some reason your asylum application gets denied, get in touch with legal assistance to help you get the USCIS to reconsider the rejection. 

When you apply for asylum, always ensure that you’re doing everything correctly. You don’t want to make any simple mistakes that cost your ability to stay in the U.S. Getting a professional service to help you do this is well worth it.

How Do You Apply for an EAD?

To apply for an EAD, you need to submit a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. Once you fill out the form, you will need to pay a fee to get it processed. The cost isn’t cheap, and if you’re unable to cover it, it’s possible to waive the processing fee through form I-912.

After your application gets processed, the USCIS will send your EAD card in the mail. From there, you can present the card as needed to show proof that you’re authorized to work in the U.S.

When Can I Apply for an EAD? 

You can only apply for a work permit until one year has passed after submitting your application for asylum. Remember, if your asylum application gets accepted, you don’t have to apply for an EAD. You only need to do so if there are delays in your application through no fault of your own. 

How Long Does It Take to Get an EAD?

Asylum applicants who haven’t received a decision in the 150 days after properly applying can also start their work permit application using Form I-765. USCIS can give you a work permit 30 days after receiving your complete application. So, the total wait time is at least 180 days.

Any delays to USCIS processing your asylum application that you cause or ask for don’t count toward the 150 days. For example, you can’t count days when you reschedule an interview or miss an appointment. 

If you think there’s been a mistake in counting the days after you filed your application, you can call the contact person at the asylum office. They are listed on the Asylum Division Web page.

Next Steps

After getting your EAD, you shouldn’t stop there. You should begin the process to become a permanent resident in the U.S. Once you’ve been granted asylum, you can apply for a green card after one year. To apply, you’ll need to submit Form I-485 to the USCIS. Upon obtaining a green card, it will function both as your ID and work authorization. 

Get Help Applying for a Work Permit as an Asylee Today 

We know that the USCIS doesn’t always make it easy to apply for critical authorizations. At FileRight, we aim to complete processing and filing all of these documents as easily as possible. You can submit your application for a work permit as an asylum seeker with confidence by reaching out for assistance today. We can help you get started at no risk or cost to you.

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