Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

Work Permits


US Immigration Work Permits - How to Qualify

In the US people get their work permits in a variety of ways, but quite honestly not in the way you might think conventionally.  Let me explain; in order to work in the US you typically need some kind of visa, a visa that enables you to work for a specific employer. Or you might get your work permit because you already have a visa to study.  That is to say, getting a work permit comes to you because you already have some other visa that triggers the issuance of a work permit.

If you’re able to secure an offer of work  from a US employer that qualfies you for a particular visa such as the H-1B Graduate and Skilled Worker Visa, then that visa authorizes you to work for that employer. You don’t get a work permit as such, as your visa by itself authorizes you to work. For some families the alien husband or spouse may be transferred by his company to the US, so the husband qualifies for a visa authorizing the transfer, but then the spouse qualifies for a work permit because there is an underlying visa (L1) triggering the authorization for a work permit.  

What is special about the work permit is that it enables the holder to work for anyone at any level; it’s the freedom to work. For this reason work permits are very difficult to get and generally can only be issued if the alien or a member of the alien’s family relocating to the US has a visa. Not all visas create a work permit for the spouse. For example, the H-1B Graduate and Skilled Worker Visa provides work authorization for the alien who secures that job, but their spouse or children do not automatically qualify for work permits. It’s quite unaccomodating really, but that’s how it is.  

The way to overcome this is when the H-1B alien settles in their job they ask the employer to sponsor them for their green card so that the spouse and children will also get their green cards. While their green card is being processed, this will trigger the issuance of work permits for the family. Alternatively, the spouse may go to college so that after the first year they will be entitled in their own right for a work permit. For those aliens who are getting married to an American, again while the green card is being processed the alien will be eligible for a work permit.   There are many ways to get a work permit, but I hope now you can see that in virtually every case you or some member of your relocating family must have secured some type of visa that in turn creates a work permit opportunity for them.

If you’d like to see some sample approved work permits please click here –

Sample Approved Work Permits

Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

US Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram
Chris M. Ingram LL.M., ESQ – Immigration Attorney
Admitted in New York.
Practice Specializing in US Immigration Law
520 Broadway, Suite 350,
Santa Monica,
California 90401
Tel: 310 496 42942

 Everyday the Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram provides a comprehensive range of US Immigration expertise. We also provide a free consultation for our prospective clients.

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