If you or your spouse is seeking to obtain permanent resident or “green card” status in the United States, you should be prepared for a fairly lengthy process of filling out initial forms, being required to interview with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and waiting for months to find out if your application has been approved. During this waiting period, the non-citizen applicant has the opportunity to lawfully work in the United States. This provides the married couple with some peace of mind that both spouses can work to generate a steady and livable income. Because the process of applying for adjustment of status based on marriage is complicated, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced immigration attorney if you have any questions or concerns.
How Do I Apply for Work Authorization?
When you fill out the required forms to adjust your status based on marriage, you may also fill out form I-765. This form is an application for an Employment Authorization Document (“EAD”). This form is filled out at the same time that you fill out the application to adjust status. If your Form I-765 is approved, then the EAD will enable you to work legally in the United States while your application to adjust status is pending approval by USCIS. If you have not received a response from USCIS within ninety days of applying for adjustment of status based on marriage, then your I-765 will automatically be approved, and you can begin working using your EAD card. The EAD card will look similar to what a green card will look like, however, once you receive your green card, you will have to surrender the EAD card.
After you receive your EAD card from USCIS, you will have to obtain a social security card, as you will need a social security number to lawfully work in the United States. You simply need to go to the nearest social security office, bring your USCIS documents with you, and apply for a “work only” social security card. Once you receive the social security card, you will be provided with a social security number and there will be a note on the card that says “valid for work only.” Therefore, you can only use your social security card to obtain employment. Once your application to adjust status based on marriage has been processed and approved, you will be able to obtain a new social security card that has the same social security number, however, there will be no limitation on the use, and you will have a social security card just like any other United States citizen.
What Should I Do if I Have Questions About Work Authorization?
If you have general questions about how to submit an I-765 application, you should visit the USCIS website and/or call the provided USCIS customer service number. If you still want clarification and guidance on how to proceed with your application to adjust status based on marriage, you may consider contacting an immigration attorney who can walk you through the process.
Geygan & Geygan, Ltd. Offers a Free Consultation to Discuss Your Immigration Needs
Applying for adjustment of status based on marriage entails filling out what seems to be an endless amount of paperwork. It is very important to ensure you are filling out the forms correctly the first time you apply for adjustment of status based on marriage. Part of the process for obtaining adjustment of status is seeking to work while your application is pending. At Geygan & Geygan, Ltd., our skilled immigration attorneys will provide you with one-on-one attention and explain to you how the adjustment of status process works. Our office will review your case with a free consultation and answer any questions you may have. To schedule your free consultation, contact Geygan & Geygan, Ltd. today by calling 513-791-1673.