How to Get Work Employment Authorization for Your Spouse?

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How to Get Work Employment Authorization for Your Spouse?

A majority of visa programs allow your dependents to move to the US as well. Visas like the H1B, L1 and the E2 give you the opportunity to obtain a green card and become a US citizen. But what if your spouse wants to work in the US? In order to do so, your spouse will have to qualify and obtain an EAC (Employment Authorization Card). Here are some things you should keep in mind before getting started:

When Is The EAC Required?

The EAC is required for all eligible dependents for almost all jobs across the US. However, it is not required for permanent jobs at multilateral organizations, such as the IMF, World Bank Group or PAHO. But the same cannot be said about jobs at consulates or embassies. On the other hand, it is essentially required in order to gain employment at international organizations within the US.

Obtaining An EAC.

You can begin the process of acquiring an EAC by obtaining an application form. However, it is necessary for you to download the latest one from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services website and then mail it. You can also file the form online. It is necessary for you to pay attention to details. Don’t overlook any step as it could cause unnecessary delays and even rejection. While filing the form, you will have to pay a fee which can vary depending on your visa category.

Once the form and supporting documents have been submitted, you will receive a Personal Identification Number (PID) from the US State Department. After confirmation of your PID, the application will be forwarded for further verification and processing. Once the application has been processed, you will receive your EAC which can take anywhere between 12 to 15 weeks.

Renewing Your EAC.

Similar to a green card, an employment authorization card has an expiration date to. It is wise to have it renewed as soon as possible and within 60 days of expiration. You can initiate the renewal process by collecting a copy of your work permit, a letter from your employer and by preparing a statement. Once that’s taken care of, submit them with your income tax returns. If that’s not available, you will need to explain the absence of tax returns with your W-2 forms.

Additional Things to Keep In Mind.

After receiving your EAC, you can obtain your Social Security Card too. However, a Social Security Card is not the same as an EAC and neither can it confirm whether you have been authorized by the authorities to work in the US. Additionally, the expiration of the EAC is job-specific. Usually, it is valid for three years or when your contract ends with your employer. If your employment is terminated for any reason, the work authorization ends immediately.

Keeping the aforementioned factors in mind, you should now be able to get work authorization for your spouse. But it’s worth noting that not all visa categories make your spouse eligible for an EAC. Therefore, it would be wise to do your research beforehand to know more about the requirements and whether your spouse is eligible or not.

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