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Who Can Work in the United States?

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For foreign national to be able to work in the United States, they have to have permission. This is commonly referred to as getting employment authorization.

Employer Sponsorship

Obtaining employment authorization is typically done by having an employer sponsor you for what is called an H-1B visa that is based on the code of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Congress allows 65,000 new H-1B visas to be available every year for people with Bachelor’s Degrees and there is another 20,000 set aside for people who have Master’s Degrees from institutions of higher learning located within the United States.

Other people who come into the country, such as those who come and start a business can sometimes they can get work visas, but generally, most foreign nationals are not allowed to work because they generally come on visit visas.

Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents

There are some people who do not need an employment sponsor. Those are US citizens or lawful permanent residents. A lawful permanent resident is someone who is authorized to stay in the United States permanently. They can apply for citizenship after five years or three years if they are married to a US citizen.

Green Card Pending

If someone married a US citizen or has some other kind of green card pending, they may be allowed to get a temporary work card. The spouses of certain visa holders such as an L-2 and H-4 are the spouses of H-1B visa holders. The current administration has tried to eliminate H-4 as an employment category, but as of now, that is tied up in the court, so holders of H-4 visas can work.

Asylum Seekers and Refugees

People who have come to the United States and obtained asylum or who came as refugees are generally allowed work authorization. Further, people who are seeking asylum after a certain time can apply for work cards.

Ask an Attorney About Work Requirements

If you have questions about whether you can work, we have answers. Call Hacking Law Practice, LLC for answers to your questions.