How Long is a Work Permit Usually Valid?

Work PermitThe validity of a U.S. work permit, also referred to as an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), will vary. The time-frame is dependent on the applicant’s current legal status in the U.S., whether this is the applicant’s first time applying, or if it is being renewed. If a person obtained his or her work permit while applying for Adjustment of Status (AOS) for the first time, their work permit is likely to be valid for one year, unless otherwise specified by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

If a person files their work permit application together with a travel document application after or at the same time as they filed for Adjustment of Status, Form I-485, they may receive their one year benefit for both cases on one card! This is known as an EAD-Advance Parole card.

If a person enters the U.S. with a visa under K-1 status, they are entering the U.S. legally as a nonimmigrant. This status may be granted to them by the U.S. Department of State (DOS) after the petition their fiancé(e) filed for them is approved by the USCIS. After their legal entry, they may then be eligible to file for a work permit. This work permit will be valid for the duration of their visa, which will be 90 days. They may become eligible to extend their work permit if they marry your fiancé(e) within the 90 days and immediately file the appropriate application.

A work permit can also be issued when applying for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, better known as DACA. If a work permit was granted to a person along with DACA, this work permit will be valid for 2 years.

There are many other ways to obtain a work permit in the U.S. The validity period of most of those work permits is determined by the USCIS. Usually, the length of time the work permit will be valid will match with the length of time one’s visa is valid.

A few other ways to obtain a work permit are

  • Refugee
  • Asylee Applicant/Granted Asylum
  • Temporary Protected Status
  • NACARA (Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act)
  • F-1/M-1, Student Visa
  • U-Nonimmigrant Visa, Victims of Criminal Activity
  • T-Nonimmigrant Visa, Victims of Human Trafficking
  • Granted Withholding of deportation/removal | Final order of deportation
  • I-140, Immigrant Petition for An Alien Worker