Work authorization

Certain foreign nationals, by virtue of their status, are authorized to work in the United States with no restrictions as to the location or type of employment.

Although these individuals have an unrestricted right to work, some must apply to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for one of the documents listed below.

Employment authorization documents

Lawful temporary residents who have been granted temporary permission to reside in the U.S. under certain special U.S. government programs receive the following employment authorization documents:

  • E.A.D. Temporary Resident Card I-688
  • Employment Authorization Card I-688A
  • Employment Authorization Card I-688B

Resident alien documents

Resident aliens are individuals who have permission to reside in the U.S. on a permanent basis or who have been granted conditional permanent residency in the U.S.

In most cases, conditional residency is granted for a period of two years. At the end of this period, the individual is required to petition the Department of Homeland Security for removal of the conditional status. If approved, the individual is converted to lawful permanent residency.

Resident aliens receive the following authorization documents:

  • Alien Registration Receipt Card
  • Form 1-551
  • Resident Alien Card I-551
  • I-551 stamp in passport

Employment restrictions

Temporary residents and resident aliens may be employed and compensated by any employer until expiration date on the card.

Employers must verify continued employment eligibility when the document expires.