We have received a lot of questions about work permits and travel documents from where are they processed to how long will it take. Are they two separate documents? What do they look like?
The work permit is processed separately in a completely separate place from where your interview will be. To answer that first question that a lot of individuals have is that the work permit is processed at the National Benefits Center in Lees Summit, Missouri. It’s in a different office where they will review your work permit and travel document. Your actual green card and your interview would occur in the USCIS office in the jurisdiction where you’re living, typically the state where you’re living.
With regards to the other question of how you receive them or what they look like, essentially you’ll receive a work permit that’s a card. They used to issue the travel document and the work permit as separate documents but what they have done now is that the work permit will have your travel authorization noted on the card.
What is the processing time? When will I receive my work permit?
Pre-COVID, our clients would get their work permits in a matter of a month or two. It was always less than 90 days. Work permits came quickly because the idea of receiving the work permit while your adjustment of status case is pending is so you can work and get your driver’s license and all of the things you need to live.
Unfortunately, wait times have drastically grown and with COVID, the wait times are even longer. Currently, processing times are sitting at about nine to ten months.
We have had a lot of individuals who have had their interviews and received their green cards before they even received their work permits. So the work permit became irrelevant but at least you have your green card.