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Law Office of Bobby C. Chung


WHAT IMMIGRATION DOCUMENTS CAN FOREIGN CITIZENS SHOW TO EMPLOYERS AS PROOF OF THEIR WORK AUTHORIZATION IN THE UNITED STATES?


To consult an immigration lawyer regarding employment authorization for a foreign citizen, please call us at (626) 642-8066 or email us at info@bccvisalaw.com. An attorney in our office would be happy to assist you.

There is a direct relationship between a foreign citizen’s immigration or visa status in the United States and the type of document issued to him or her by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Employers should become familiar with the different category types.

PERMANENT, UNRESTRICTED EMPLOYMENT

Common evidence of work authorization:

US passport (unexpired or expired)

US birth certificate

Permanent Resident Card (Resident Alien Card, Form I-551, and/or Alien Registration Receipt Card) also known as "Green Card"

• Unrestricted Social Security Card

Employment Available to:

US citizens

Lawful Permanent Residents (i.e., Green Card holders)

• Asylees and Refugees.

Note: Employers should know that only aliens who check the “lawful permanent resident” box on Form I-9 Section 1 would be authorized (but not required) to present a “Green Card” for Section 2 purposes.

TEMPORARY, UNRESTRICTED EMPLOYMENT

Common Evidence of work authorization:

Employment Authorization Document (EAD)

• For information on how to apply for the EAD, visit this link:
http://bccvisalaw.com/work-permit-ead-card.php

To evidence work authorization that is temporary and unrestricted, an employee will show an employment authorization document (EAD on Form I-688B, Form I-766, or Form I-688A in certain legalization cases). EADs are issued to aliens for several different purposes. Common categories of EAD holders include aliens awaiting adjustment of status, fiancee in K-1 status, and aliens granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

Employers may want to keep in mind that aliens who check the “alien authorized to work until .....” box in I-9 Section 1 will be authorized to present an EAD for Section 2 purposes. EADs are generally valid for one year. Similarly, the work authorization expiration date listed in I-9 Section 1 will often be the expiration date of the EAD presented for Section 2 purposes.

TEMPORARY, RESTRICTED EMPLOYMENT (EMPLOYER-SPECIFIC)

Common Evidence of work authorization:

• Form I-94 Arrival-Departure Record showing endorsement of employer-specific visa classification and unexpired period of admission.

• Employment Available to: Aliens granted employer-specific work authorized visas, including A-1, A-2, and A-3, C-2 and C-3, E-1 and E-2, F-1 (for on campus employment and curricular practical training only, and only if presented with Form I-20 endorsed for the specific employment), G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4 and G-5, H-1b, H-1c, H-2a, H-2b, and H-3, I, J-1, L-1a and L-1b, O-1 and O-2, P-1, P-2 and P-3, Q, R-1, NATO, TN, and N–2.

Employer-specific employment authorization is evidenced on the Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record that foreign citizens receive and must retain with their passports. Upon admission into the US, these forms are stamped or marked with the arriving aliens’ immigration classification and with the period of authorized stay in the US under that classification. In order to be acceptable as proof of work eligibility, the stamp must specify that employment is authorized or indicate an unexpired nonimmigrant admission. A stamp indicating a nonimmigrant admission means that the alien may work for the approved employer(s) and for no other employer(s) until expiration of the indicated period of approved stay. Therefore, only US employers whose petitions to employ these aliens have been approved by the USCIS may accept this documentation to satisfy employment eligibility verification requirements of Form I-9. The employee can work for the petitioning employer(s) until the period of admission/work authorization approved by the USCIS expires. The back of Form I-94 may also be completed by which to indicate employment restriction for those aliens authorized to work temporarily only for a single employer. With limited exceptions, aliens are obligated to relinquish their I-94 when leaving the US.

UNAUTHORIZED

• EWI (aliens who entered and remain in the US illegally, without inspection) or PWI (present without inspection)

Visitors (B-1 and B-2, including entry into US on Visa Waiver with few exceptions)

• Dependents of persons authorized to be employed incident to their status (including but not limited to H-4 and TD) except spouses of the L and E classification

• Dependents of students (F-2 and M-2)


THE INFORMATION ON THIS WEBSITE IS NOT TO BE CONSIDERED LEGAL ADVICE. SUCH INFORMATION IS INTENDED TO EDUCATE MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC GENERALLY AND IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE SOLUTIONS TO INDIVIDUAL PROBLEMS. READERS ARE CAUTIONED NOT TO ATTEMPT TO SOLVE INDIVIDUAL PROBLEMS ON THE BASIS OF INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN AND ARE STRONGLY ADVISED TO SEEK ADVICE FROM AN EXPERIENCED IMMIGRATION LAWYER REGARDING SPECIFIC CASE SITUATIONS.

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