Work Permits I-765 for Children
My first job was at a concessions stand for a local movie theatre. Air conditioning, free popcorn, free movies, and free chocolate if the package was broken. A fifteen-year old’s dream job actually. Today, news explains how immigrant children work dangerous jobs such as construction and slaughterhouses. There is no minimum age for a child to get an I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization) work permit.
Kids Work Permits with I-589 Asylum, I-360 VAWA, and TPS
Most children obtain work permits because they are derivatives on the immigration applications for their parents. For example, the I-589 (Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal) asylum application and I-360 (Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant) Violence Against Women Act petition have sections for information about the spouse and children of the principal applicant. Those children, in turn, can then get work permits while their parents’ cases are being processed by the US Citizenship and Immigration Service. For asylum cases especially, that means children can keep renewing their work permits for a decade or more.
Temporary Protected Status (TPS), however, is a person-by-person application. Only the person applying for TPS can get a work permit. Thus, the child must apply for TPS and apply for the work permit. Again, there is no minimum age for a child to apply for a work permit based on TPS. Temporary Protected Status is based on citizenship.
Work Permits as the First Step to Legal Permanent Residency
Working can lead to finding a sponsor to an employment-based green card, so the benefit extends beyond earning a wage. Minors can also start building their credit towards Social Security. Although some foreigners need an I-864 Affidavit of Support, a noncitizen who has worked in the United States for at least 10 years does NOT need one. Not needing a sponsor is a major benefit to getting a green card.
As with all of immigration questions, it is best to speak with an experienced lawyer. Blandon Law attorneys have over 20 years of experience and degrees in journalism, literature, and nonfiction writing. Put our knowledge to the test and help us help you.
Disclaimer – These entries are based on real life events. Family member names, when used, are real. Client names are changed for privacy.