Can I work in the U.S. if I have a pending asylum application?

Can I work in the U.S. if I have a pending asylum application?

| Mar 29, 2021 | immigration |

California is home to many immigrants who are seeking asylum. While waiting for asylum to be granted, one may wonder if they’re able to stay within the United States or if they will be deported home. Due to the nature of an asylum claim, the decision about deportation is taken very seriously as a person’s life can be threatened with imminent persecution.

Employment authorization

Any immigration and naturalization attorney can assist you in filing for employment authorization, known as Form I-765. However, you may not apply for employment authorization until 365 calendar days after you submit your asylum application in most cases. As with any law, there are exceptions that you should be aware of.

Qualifying for an exception

You may be granted permission to work in the United States as you apply for asylum if you meet various outlined conditions. The most prominent is if you’ve entered the country lawfully on or after August 25, 2020. You must have filed your application for asylum within one year of your most recent arrival to the United States.

As part of your asylum and employment authorization applications, you must comply with any scheduled biometric service appointments and USCIS interviews. As long as you comply with these appointments and you don’t have any outstanding delay that is related to your asylum application, you can enjoy the benefit of applying for employment authorization.

Being deemed ineligible

Those who have been convicted of a criminal offense will likely be ineligible for submitting an employment authorization application. The United States denies those who were convicted of any aggravated felony or serious crime. These are defined under 8 CFR 1101(a)(43).

While you’re waiting for your asylum application to process, you may want to work in the United States. If you meet the eligibility requirements that we went over above, you may be granted access to work. It’s always a good idea to consider contacting a lawyer to assist you with filling out these applications for your best chance of success.