Integrity Legal

27th May 2010

For those who bring a foreign fiance or fiancee to the United States of America, an often asked question is: “What if my fiancee wants to work in the USA prior to her adjustment of status?” The answer to this question is somewhat complicated. When a foreign fiancee or spouse enters the United States on a non-immigrant K1 visa or K3 Visa, the entrant is generally not authorized to take up employment in the USA until that alien either adjusts status to permanent residence (Green Card) or obtains employment authorization. Recently, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) announced that, in an effort to decrease immigration fraud, new Employment Authorization Documents are to be issued. The following is a direct quote from USCIS’s official statement:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced that it has revised the Employment Authorization Document (EAD), or Form I-766, to incorporate the addition of a machine-readable zone on the back of the card.. This update to the EAD is part of USCIS’s ongoing efforts to deter immigration fraud. Starting May 11, USCIS began issuing the revised EAD cards. The machine-readable zone is compliant with International Civil Aviation Organization standards. USCIS also removed the two-dimensional bar code on the backside of the card and moved the informational box of text to just beneath the magnetic stripe on the card. The revised card retains all of its existing security features.

In most cases, foreign fiancees or spouses of US Citizens opt to wait for permanent residence before taking up employment. However, in some instances this is not the case as there are increasing numbers of foreign fiancees and spouses who work for multi-national companies. These international businesses sometimes wish to have their non-US Citizen employee start work in the USA as soon as they can. Therefore, there are situations in which speedy employment authorization is a necessity.

In the past, K3 Visa holders could seek employment authorization at the port of entry when they entered the USA. As the K-3 Visa is being increasingly phased out, this method of receiving employment authorization is being employed less frequently. Another issue that often arises in the context of Employment Authorization is that of advance parole. Holders of a US fiance visa cannot leave the United States prior to adjustment of status and simultaneously maintain their lawful K1 status unless they apply for, and receive, an advance parole travel document.  In some cases, couples making an application for advance parole will also make an application for an EAD in order to work in the USA.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

3 Responses to “USCIS Issues New Employment Authorization Document (EAD)”

  1. [...] diligent efforts of Consular Officers in adjudicating these petitions. At the present time, a K3 or K1 visa petition must be adjudicated by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) [...]

  2. [...] diligent efforts of Consular Officers in adjudicating these petitions. At the present time, a K3 or K1 visa petition must be adjudicated by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) [...]

  3. [...] diligent efforts of Consular Officers in adjudicating these petitions. At the present time, a K3 or K1 visa petition must be adjudicated by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) [...]

Leave a Reply

The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisement. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.