Navigating the Maze of Work Permits – Your Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Perfect Visa

Living and working in the United States without legal immigration status can present numerous challenges and uncertainties. However, for undocumented individuals who wish to remain in the country and get a work permit, there are specific pathways available that may provide opportunities for legal employment.

Let’s delve into some of these options, including the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), U visa, and T visa. Remember that these are not the only options available however.

1. Violence Against Women Act (VAWA):

VAWA provides protection and support for victims of domestic violence, including certain undocumented individuals who are married to U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. Under VAWA, eligible individuals(both men and women) may self-petition for lawful permanent residency (green card) without the sponsorship of an abusive spouse or family member.

Once VAWA self-petitioners receive a prima facie determination or approval of their petition, they may also be eligible to apply for work authorization, known as Form I-765, and obtain a work permit. This work permit allows them to legally work in the United States while their immigration case is pending.

2. U Visa:

The U visa is designed for victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity. Eligible individuals may include undocumented immigrants who have been victims of crimes such as domestic violence, sexual assault, or human trafficking.

Upon approval of a U visa petition (Form I-918), applicants may also apply for work authorization (Form I-765), allowing them to work legally in the United States while their immigration case is pending. Additionally, U visa recipients may eventually become eligible to apply for lawful permanent residency.

3. T Visa:

The T visa is specifically for victims of human trafficking who have been subjected to severe forms of trafficking in persons, including involuntary servitude, debt bondage, or forced labor. T visa applicants must demonstrate that they are in the United States as a result of trafficking and are willing to assist law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of trafficking crimes.

Once a T visa petition (Form I-914) is approved, individuals may apply for work authorization (Form I-765), enabling them to work legally in the United States. T visa recipients may also be eligible to pursue lawful permanent residency after meeting certain requirements and upon approval of their application.

Notes from the Attorney

Work Permit

It’s important to note that each of these options has specific eligibility criteria and requires careful documentation and evidence to support the application. Additionally, seeking guidance from qualified immigration attorneys can greatly assist individuals in navigating the complexities of the immigration process.

While undocumented individuals face significant challenges, exploring these legal avenues for obtaining work authorization can provide a sense of stability and opportunity to build a brighter future in the United States. You may also read this article if you want to learn more about work permits for undocumented individuals: 5 Things You Need to Know About Work Permits in the U.S..

Know that it’s always best to check your options right away so you won’t ever have to worry about applying for a job here in the United States. If you believe you may qualify for any of the visas mentioned above, call our office at 630 504-0648 to get a free case evaluation. You may also book an appointment with Atty. Farrah Qazi by clicking here!

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