Can I Work and Travel While My Green Card Application Is Pending?

Change Name on Green Card after Marriage or DivorceNonimmigrants in America who have filed applications to adjust their status to permanent resident status, Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status need to remain in the country until their applications are approved and they get Green Cards. But they are allowed to travel abroad and work legally in the U.S. while their application is pending.

To work in the U.S while their applications for Green Cards are pending, they will need to file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and get a work permit. To travel abroad, but they will need to get advance parole documents prior to their departure. They can get these travel documents by filing Form I-131, Application for Travel Document.

How to Work While the Green Card Application is Pending?

People who hold Green Cards need not obtain employment authorization documents to work in the U.S. But people who have filed applications for adjustment of status cannot work in the U.S while waiting for the approval of their petitions. Such applicants can get EADs to legally work in the country while their applications are pending. These documents will permit them to work in the country. Until their applications for adjustment of status are approved and until they get Green Cards, they can work here with their EADs.

Who Can Travel with a Pending Green Card Application?

People who have filed Form I-485 must not leave the U.S and if they do so, USCIS will consider that they have abandoned their applications. But in certain cases, they will be permitted to travel abroad but they need to get travel documents to travel to foreign countries. They must file Form I-131 and get advance parole documents. These documents will permit them to travel abroad and get back to the U.S. Once they get their Green Cards they can travel abroad and re-enter the U.S as permanent residents.

Form I-131 for travel documents and Form I-765 for work permits can be filed online. Form I-765 must be filed along with the filing fee of $410 and the filing fee for Form I-131 is $575.

Related Articles:

Applying for Work Permit While Green Card Application is Pending 

How to Change Mailing Address While Form I-485 Is Pending?

What if My Green Card Application is Denied by the USCIS?

Updated on 5/29/2018