A Practical Guide to USA Work Permits

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work permit usa

Work Permit USA is meant for international visitors seeking employment in the USA. It can be of 2 types: nonimmigrant temporary work permit and permanent work permit.  In case, of a nonimmigrant work permit, the employer will file for USCIS on behalf of the applicant. Those who have the education, skills, and experience can even be allowed to live and work in the US permanently. Generally, a work visa is granted for a maximum period of 6 years. Keep reading to learn more about work permits USA.

What is the Difference Between a Work Visa and a Work Permit USA?

Despite the similarity in names, work visas and work permits USA is completely different. Below we have provided the essential difference between the two terms:

Particulars Visa USAWork Permit USA
Meaning Document to visit the USA for a specific purpose (depending on the visa type) for a duration of time Document granted to specifically work in the USA
PurposeEducation,tourism, business meetings, workWork purpose 
Job Offer Requirement NoYes 
DurationShort-term with no employment purpose Long-term or permanent work 
Limitation Work visas permit employment for a single employer Can work for any employer in the US. Hence, no limitations apart from the duration of stay

Learn about the US Work Visa here.

Types of Work Permit USA

As mentioned above, the work permit in the US can be of 2 types. That is, work as a temporary non-immigrant visitor or apply for a permanent immigrant worker.

Temporary non-immigrant visitor:

Temporary worker visas are for persons who want to enter the United States for employment lasting a fixed time and are not considered permanent or indefinite. Each of these visas requires the prospective employer to first file a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). An approved petition is required to apply for a work visa.

Employment-Based Immigrant Visa:

The employment-based immigrant visa can be applied by people who have the right skill set, education, or work experience to work in the US permanently. There are essentially 5 categories of workers that come under the employment-based immigrant visa. These are: 

Employment-Based Immigrant Visa Labor CertificationPurpose of visa 
First Preference EB-1NoPeople of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics; professors/ researchers; and multinational executives and managers.
Second Preference EB-2YesReserved for persons who are members of the professions holding advanced degrees or for persons with exceptional ability in the arts, sciences, or business.
Fourth Preference EB-4NoSpecial immigrants such as certain religious workers, employees of U.S. foreign service posts, retired employees of international organizations, etc
Third Preference EB-3YesReserved for professionals, skilled workers, and other workers
Fifth Preference EB-5NoBusiness investors who invest $1.8 million or $900,000 in a new commercial enterprise that employs at least 10 full-time U.S. workers.

Learn about the US Visa Types in Visa 

Who Is Eligible for a Work Permit USA?

USCIS (Form I-765) has provided detailed information regarding the eligibility criteria for the work permit USA. As per the information, here are some eligible immigrants for work permit USA: 

  • DACA recipients
  • Asylees
  • K-1 Fiance Visa holders
  • Immigrants with extraordinary abilities
  • Immigrants with pending status in terms of Green card application
  • Spouses of some visa holders
  • Certain exchange visitors
  • Approved temporary workers
  • Immigrants with  Deferred Enforced Departure (DED)/Temporary Protected Status (TPS) 
  • F-1 students experiencing financial difficulty and wanting to apply for optional practical training (OPT)

Check out this blog to learn about How to Get a Student Visa for USA?

Who Isn’t Eligible for a Work Permit USA?

The work permits USA eligibility criteria are straightforward. Those who already have an immigration status that permits them to work are eligible for a work permit USA. On the other hand, those who are ineligible for this type of visa are not eligible for the work permit. For example, undocumented immigrants and tourists (B-1 visa holders) are not eligible unless they are granted humanitarian status, such as asylum, while they are in the United States. It is against federal law for employers in the United States to hire them.

Documents Required for a Work Permit USA 

To obtain the work permit USA applicants must fill out the I-765. For this, the applicant must provide several documents, These are as follows:

  • Copy of the passport and a copy of the current US visa 
  • Copy of the  original Form I-94 travel record 
  • Copies of any of your previous work permits 
  • Applicant’s photographs
  • Copy of the receipt notice received from the U.S. government after submitting the immigrant visa application. (if applicable)
  • Copy of the photo ID and the birth certificate from the home country
  • Copy of visa from the consulate of a country other than the US
  • Additional identification copy with fingerprint 

Work Permit USA Application Process 

The nonimmigrant visa holder can obtain a work permit(Employment Authorization Document or EAD). The application process for the same is as follows:

  • The applicant must fill out the Employment Authorization (Form 1-765), review the instructions, and pay the required fee
  • If the applicant meets the eligibility requirements, he/she will be provided with an EAD work permit. The work permit will be useful for 1-2 years.
  • After the  U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services or the USCIS has approved the request, an EAD will be sent to the applicant by mail 

What To Do if USCIS Denies Work Permit Application?

There are several reasons why the USCIS might deny the work permit application. These are as follows:

  • The applicant is ineligible for a work permit
  • Filled in incorrect information on the I-765 form, or
  • Has received other work authorization before the work permit application was approved 

Note: in case of incorrect information in eligibility the applicant can speak to an immigration attorney or seek legal aid. Re-application is possible but it can be difficult to obtain the work permit after a rejection.


How can I get a work permit in the USA?

To get a work permit in the USA, an individual must apply for a 1-765 and pay the required fee. Depending on the application the work permit will be granted for 1-2 years.

How long is a work permit in the USA?

The work permit USA duration depends on the existing immigration status of the applicant. It can also depend on the visa the applicant has while living in the US. Generally, EADs are granted for 1 year.

How much is a U.S. work permit?

The US work permit cost stands at $410. The applicant has to pay the application fees to obtain the work permit USA.

We hope you now understand what a France student visa is, its requirements, the application process, etc. Want to apply for a Visa for your study abroad journey? Drop us a comment in the section below, or you can connect with a visa expert at Leverage Edu, and we will guide you on your dream journey!

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A Practical Guide to USA Work PermitsHow to Get PR in Ireland After Study?
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