A work permit, also known as an employment authorization document, is a photo identity card that allows non-permanent resident immigrants to legally work in the U.S.
There are specific steps you need to follow to apply for one.
Fill out the appropriate form
You need to fill out USCIS Form I-765, the Application for Employment Authorization. The form itself is on the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services website along with instructions and a Form I-765 worksheet that those filing under the Deferred Action or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) eligibility categories need to fill out. You may submit the form through the postal service. Along with it, you need to provide documents proving you qualify to apply and a photo ID. Depending on the eligibility group you fall into, you may be able to file online.
Pay the fee if required
Not everyone has to pay a fee. It depends on which category of eligibility you file under. Check the instructions for filling out Form I-765 to see if you owe the fee, which is $410. You may also have to pay an $85 biometric services fee, again, depending on your eligibility category. You may use a check (personal or cashier’s), credit card or money order to pay fees. You need to file Form G-1450 when doing so, which, along with instructions, you may download for free from the USCIS website as well. Mail it in with your application, Form I-765.
Applying for a work permit is not the same as applying for a work visa, so be careful not to mistake the two processes. Legal counsel may be of benefit when gathering the proper documentation and filling out the necessary forms.