If you’ve recently obtained a green card, you may have noticed the words “Valid for Work Only with DHS Authorization” printed on it. This phrase indicates that you are authorized to work in the United States but are required to obtain further approval from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). In this article, we will explore what this restriction means, how it can impact your employment, and most importantly, the steps you can take to remove it.
Understanding the Green Card
A green card, officially known as a Permanent Resident Card, is an important document that grants individuals lawful permanent resident status in the United States. It serves as proof of their authorization to live and work permanently in the country. Green cards are typically issued to individuals who meet certain eligibility criteria, such as family relationships, employment-based sponsorship, humanitarian reasons, or through the Diversity Visa Lottery.
Valid for Work Only with DHS Authorization
When you receive your green card, you may notice the phrase “Valid for Work Only with DHS Authorization” printed on it. This means that while you have the right to work in the United States, you are required to obtain additional authorization from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) before accepting employment. This restriction is in place to ensure that the government can verify your eligibility to work and protect the integrity of the U.S. labor market.
Obtaining a Green Card
Before diving into the process of removing the “Valid for Work Only with DHS Authorization” restriction, let’s briefly touch on how you can obtain a green card. There are several paths to acquiring a green card, including family sponsorship, employment sponsorship, refugee or asylum status, and the Diversity Visa Lottery. Each path has its own set of requirements and application procedures, so it’s important to explore the options that best align with your situation.
Benefits of Having a Green Card
Having a green card comes with numerous benefits. First and foremost, it grants you the legal right to work and live permanently in the United States. You can pursue employment opportunities without restrictions, work for any employer, and even start your own business. Additionally, green card holders have access to social benefits, such as healthcare, education, and social security benefits. Furthermore, green card holders enjoy certain legal rights and protections, including the ability to sponsor family members for their own green cards.
Understanding “Valid for Work Only with DHS Authorization”
The phrase “Valid for Work Only with DHS Authorization” signifies that while you have a green card, you must seek further approval from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) before you can commence employment. This means that you cannot accept a job until you have obtained an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from the DHS. The EAD serves as proof that you are eligible to work in the United States and will have your photograph, name, and other relevant details.
Removing the Restriction
Fortunately, the process of removing the “Valid for Work Only with DHS Authorization” restriction is relatively straightforward. To be eligible, you must be a green card holder who is in the United States. If you meet these criteria, you can proceed with the application process.
Steps to Remove “Valid for Work Only with DHS Authorization”
To remove the restriction and obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), follow these steps:
- Gather Required Documentation: Collect the necessary documents, including your green card, passport, photographs, and any other supporting evidence as required by the application.
- Completing Form I-765: Fill out Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, accurately and completely. This form will require information about your personal details, immigration status, and the reason for your application.
- Filing the Application: Submit the completed Form I-765, along with the supporting documents and the appropriate filing fee, to the designated USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) address.
- Application Processing Time: Wait for the USCIS to process your application. The processing time can vary, but it typically takes several months. You can check the USCIS website for updates on processing times.
- Employment Authorization Document (EAD): Once your application is approved, you will receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). This document will serve as proof that you are authorized to work in the United States without the “Valid for Work Only with DHS Authorization” restriction.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
When applying to remove the “Valid for Work Only with DHS Authorization” restriction, it’s essential to avoid common mistakes that can cause delays or even lead to the rejection of your application. Some common mistakes to avoid include:
- Providing inaccurate or incomplete documentation.
- Failing to follow the instructions provided by USCIS.
- Submitting incorrect or outdated forms.
Tips for a Successful Application
To increase your chances of a successful application, consider the following tips:
- Double-check all your documents and ensure they are accurate and up-to-date.
- Seek legal advice if you have any doubts or concerns about the application process.
- Be patient and persistent, as USCIS processing times can vary.
Removing the “Valid for Work Only with DHS Authorization” restriction after obtaining a green card is an important step towards gaining unrestricted employment opportunities in the United States. By following the outlined steps, gathering the required documentation, and completing the application process accurately, you can successfully remove this restriction and obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Remember to double-check your documents, seek legal advice if necessary, and be patient throughout the process.