Understanding Immigration Employment and Employment Eligibility

If you glance through any newspaper job listings or online career sites, you will see many job ads that list as their requirements the following words: “Must be eligible to work in the US.” If you are applying for a job in the US, you may wonder whether you are eligible to work in the US. In general, you are eligible to work in the US if you:

1) Are a US citizen. If you are a US citizen, you are qualified to work for all jobs in the US. Furthermore, you can work overseas or beyond US borders without having to worry about losing your status. You can choose to work for non-US companies in you are eligible, and you can work in other countries as well, as long as you are eligible by those countries’ standards. There are some jobs that require US citizens specifically. These jobs will usually clearly state “must be a US citizen.” You may need a birth certificate or US certificate of citizenship to prove your eligibility for such jobs. Jobs in some military operations or US government agencies require US citizenship. However, US citizens can enjoy any number of jobs across all industries. Moreover, job eligibility can never be taken away. US citizens can work in the US as long as they like without having to apply to have their working status renewed.

2) Are a green card holder. A green card had long been considered a key standard in US immigration employment eligibility. If you have a green card, you have the right to work and live in the US. You are eligible for just about every job in the US (except those which require US citizenship). However, in order to maintain your green card status, you will need to maintain residency in the US and you will need to carry your green card with you at all times in order to prove your work eligibility. As well, you will need to apply for green card renewal in a timely fashion when your card approaches expiry in order to ensure that you maintain your employment eligibility and your permanent residency.

3) You have a work permit or employment visa. The USCIS allows work visas or permits in a number of cases. For example, some types of student visas allow you to work while attending school in the US. You will need to consider employment policy immigration laws carefully if you have a work permit or employment visa, as these visas and permits usually have specific restrictions. For example, you may only be able to work for a specific period of time or within a specific area. Make sure that you understand your employment eligibility before applying for a job.