Work Authorization for Asylees
While asylum grants individuals legal residence in the U.S., asylum status does not authorize the asylee to work. Asylees wishing to have a job need to apply for employment authorization through USCIS Form I-765. Note that a person cannot apply for permission to work (employment authorization) at the same time they apply for asylum. A person may apply for employment authorization 365 calendar days after they file their complete asylum application.
An individual may be eligible to receive employment authorization based on a pending asylum application if:
- they entered the U.S. lawfully on or after Aug. 25, 2020;
- they filed the asylum application within 1 year from the date of their last arrival into the U.S.; an asylum officer or immigration judge determined that they qualify for an exception to the 1-year filing deadline; or they are an unaccompanied alien child on the date the asylum application was first filed;
- they appeared for any scheduled biometric services appointments related to their application for asylum or employment authorization;
- they appeared for their interview with a USCIS asylum officer, or their hearing before an immigration judge, if requested or scheduled;
- they do not have an outstanding applicant-caused delay related to their asylum application when they file their initial application for employment authorization; and
- no final decision has been made on their asylum application.
Note that certain criminal offenses or convictions will make a person ineligible for an employment authorization. They will be ineligible based on their pending asylum application if:
- they have been convicted, at any time, of any aggravated felony in the U.S. or abroad;
- they have been convicted, on or after Aug. 25, 2020, of a particularly serious crime; or
- there are serious reasons to believe that they committed a serious non-political crime outside the U.S. on or after Aug. 25, 2020.
Contact the Law Offices of Joyce Komanapalli Jones Today!
Applying for asylum can be a complex process that could take around 6 months to complete. If you are seeking asylum in California, consult an experienced lawyer like Attorney Joyce Komanapalli Jones to build your case for asylum. Attorney Jones can walk you through the application process to establish legal residence out of protection from your home country, and she can also help you figure out next steps for employment authorization and how to apply later to be a legal permanent resident.