Can Asylum Seekers Work in the United States?

Asylum seekers are individuals who have fled their home country due to fear of persecution based on their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group and can not return to their countries for genuine fear. However, seeking asylum in the United States is a complicated and lengthy process that can take years to complete.

One of the questions that many asylum seekers have is whether they can work while their case is pending. The short answer is yes, asylum seekers can work in the United States, but there are certain requirements that they must meet and we explain them in this article.

Employment Authorization Document or EAD

Asylum Seekers

To work legally in the United States, asylum seekers must obtain an Employment Authorization Document or EAD. An EAD is a document issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that grants the holder the legal right to work in the United States. Asylum seekers are eligible to apply for an EAD 150 days after they have filed their asylum application with USCIS.

To apply for an EAD, asylum seekers must complete and submit Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, along with the required supporting documentation and the filing fee. 

Also, the asylum seekers must present some supporting documentation including a copy of the asylum application receipt, two passport-style photos, and evidence of their identity and eligibility to work in the United States.

Employment Restrictions

While asylum seekers are generally permitted to work in the United States, there are some restrictions on the type of employment that they can engage in. Asylum seekers are not eligible for certain types of jobs that require a security clearance or a professional license, such as jobs in law enforcement, aviation, or healthcare. Additionally, asylum seekers are not eligible for federal financial aid or certain state-funded programs.

However, the asylum seekers who are granted asylum status or who become lawful permanent residents are no longer subject to these employment restrictions. They are free to work in any job for which they are qualified and may also be eligible for federal financial aid and state-funded programs.

Employment-Based Asylum

In some cases, asylum seekers may be eligible for employment-based asylum. This is a type of asylum that is granted to individuals who have been persecuted in their home country based on their profession, such as journalists or human rights activists. To qualify for employment-based asylum, the individual must demonstrate that their profession was the reason for the persecution they suffered in their home country.

However, the employment-based asylum can be difficult to obtain, and applicants must meet very strict criteria to qualify which could be more difficult than the regular process. It is important for asylum seekers who believe they may be eligible for employment-based asylum to consult with an experienced immigration attorney to determine their options.

Knowing Your Rights as an Asylum Seeker

Asylum seekers in the United States are permitted to work while their case is pending, provided they obtain an Employment Authorization Document and adhere to the employment restrictions outlined by USCIS. While employment-based asylum may be an option for some individuals, it is important to consult with an experienced immigration attorney to determine eligibility and explore all available options.

The process of seeking asylum can be challenging and stressful, and having a knowledgeable and experienced legal team by your side can make all the difference. Qazi Law Offices is a leading immigration law firm that provides compassionate and personalized representation to individuals and families seeking asylum and other immigration services in the United States of America.

If you are an asylum seeker in the United States, it is important to understand your rights and options when it comes to employment. With the help of an experienced immigration attorney, you can navigate the complicated legal system and work towards achieving your goals of living and working in the United States.

Qazi Law Offices has been helping individuals and families navigate the complicated and ever-changing landscape of U.S. immigration law. Qazi Law Offices provides a wide range of immigration services, including asylum applications, deportation defense, family-based immigration, and employment-based immigration.

Attorney Farrah Qazi and her team understand the challenges that asylum seekers face and are committed to helping them achieve their goals of living and working in the United States. They provide compassionate and personalized representation, taking the time to listen to their client’s stories and understand their unique situations. With a proven track record of success, Qazi Law Offices is a trusted and reliable choice for individuals and families seeking immigration assistance.

If you believe your case qualifies for an asylum case, call us at 630 504-0648 to get started. We are here to help and guide you through every step of the way. Don’t worry, calling our office to inquire about our services and have your case evaluated is absolutely free!

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