If you’re going through an immigration case specifically, an adjustment of status case, work permits are an option that’s available to some individuals who are actually in the United States and are able to complete their entire green card process here in the US.
Who gets a work permit and when does a work permit show up?
Focusing on couples immigration, the work permit comes with a green card adjustment of status application for individuals who are married to United States citizens. It is part of that green card application for those who are eligible to file for adjustment of status in the US.
For those who have different case types, in the early stages of your case, you wouldn’t have a work permit until the adjustment phase of your case.
Those who are going through an adjustment of status process in the US have been experiencing work permit delays. Legally, immigration is supposed to issue the work permit for individuals who filed their adjustment of status application with their work permit application. They’re supposed to issue those work permits in 90 days.
Unfortunately, that is not happening. This isn’t the first time that there’s a requirement that immigration is supposed to meet and they’re falling short. This has to do with the long delays that immigration is generally having because of the pandemic.
They have been asked about what is causing these delays but there has been no official announcement from USCIS about why these delays are occurring or what they’re doing to resolve the delay. We know that that’s really frustrating especially if you’re going through this process, you feel that you’re in a state of limbo while you’re waiting for your work permit. Especially those who come on fiancé visas who have filed their green card application and are waiting for that work permit.
That’s a difficult transition; that you’re kind of in limbo. You have status but you can’t work and you can’t get a driver’s license and do things like that.
A lot of individuals are asking what can they do about not receiving their work permit. Unfortunately, waiting and pestering immigration are really the two things that we’re doing right now for all of our clients. We make outside of normal processing requests and keep poking on immigration.
Legally, there is a way that you could technically sue the government through a mandamus action but that would be costly and time-consuming. It would only serve to prove a point. Unfortunately, immigration keeps showing over and over that they send their template responses that they’re working on it and they’ll get to it.
We’re hoping that immigration will take up our concerns. Our firm and the American Immigration Lawyers Association are constantly pestering immigration. We keep telling them, “You need to get this figured out. They’re supposed to be issued in 90 days.”
As we know more, we will definitely update you but as of now, these long delays in receiving a work permit are unfortunately normal right now. Hopefully, soon they will get their act together and start issuing those on time.