How to Apply for a US Work Permit

Washington, USA. July 8, 2011. The reflaction of demonstrators on a window shop. Woman carrying a pancart with the image of Dr. King and the slogan "We Too Have a Dream" in reference to woman and Litino rights.

Contributed article in our entrepreneurial series. My great-grandparents were immigrants and didn’t speak English, and as a result I strongly support the rich diversity that immigrants bring to the USA. Welcome and enjoy! – Kimberly

Want to work in the US? Here’s some practical advice for people courageous enough to embrace the challenge to moving to a new country.

The process for applying for a US work permit, also known as an employment authorization document (EAD), is quite straightforward. The process involves filling out a one-page form, attaching the fee, photos, and documents to prove that you are eligible, and submitting it to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). However, since the work permit is only available to certain groups of immigrants, the catch is making sure that you are eligible. If you’d like to learn more about how to apply for a US work permit, read on.

Form I-765

The initial form that you will need to fill out in order to apply for a work permit is Form I-765 which you can download from the USCIS website. The form requires you to fill in your name and general contact information, along with additional information such as EB5 funding. Question twelve will require you to detail your most recent entry into the US, and the manner in which you entered the country. Question sixteen will require the most effort, as you will need to use the I-765 instructions detailed on the USCIS website in order to determine which eligibility category you fall into.

Attaching Proof

In order to prove that you qualify for a US work permit, you will need to attach a photocopy of whatever documents you have that shows the status you described in question sixteen on the Form I-765. For example, if you are applying as an asylum seeker you will need to attach the judge’s order granting you asylum, or a copy of the letter from the asylum office. If you are applying as an investor, you might enlist the services of a legal group such as Hirson Immigration. However, you should note that if you are applying for the work permit at the same time as application for status you will not need to include proof of eligibility.

The Fee

As of 2015, the current fee for applying for a US work permit is $380. However, if you are applying after this time it’s important to note that the fee does change and can go up often, so you should check the official website to find out the latest fee. If you plan to request deferred action, you will also need to pay a biometrics fee which is currently $85. Certain categories of applications will not be required to pay the fee, such as those who are also filing to adjust status in order to obtain a green card.

How to Submit Your Application

In order to submit your US work permit application to USCIS, you have two options. You can either send the application by mail, or use e-filing which is an online application. E-filing is a convenient option for payment, however you will also need to send your supporting documents by mail. If you are submitting your application by mail it’s important that you double check the address, as there are different mailing addresses for the various applicant categories.

Have you successfully applied for a US work permit? How did you find the process, and how long did it take? We’d love to hear your story in the comments!

Time Allocation: Creating a Formula for Your Business

Time_blog_June2015Contributed article in our entrepreneurial business series. Enjoy! – Kimberly

Running a business is a time consuming endeavor. If you don’t allocate your time well, it can quickly become difficult to manage. Entrepreneurs often work unusual hours and in unorthodox spaces. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 56 percent of people who are self-employed have worked from their homes and 43 percent have worked on the weekends.

So, how can you manage all of the tasks needed to run your business? Allocate your time carefully with this formula so you can master your schedule instead of serving it.

Be the Boss: 5% of Your Time

As counterintuitive as it may be, running your company shouldn’t dominate your schedule. You need to manage employees, handle payroll and pay the bills to keep your business operational, so create a smooth and effective way of getting these tasks done.

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3 Ways to Stay Focused on Success

iStock_000012789422XSmallContributed article in our entrepreneurial business series. Enjoy! – Kimberly

Any successful business man or woman can tell you that one of the main detriments to continued success is a sense of complacency that hits everyone at a certain period in their career. They reach a level where they are comfortable and take a step back when they should be forging ahead.

Until you’ve reached the top of your game, become a Bill Gates or a Donald Trump, there is no time to lose your focus, to get complacent. In fact, even those amazingly successful entrepreneurs never lost their focus for any great length and this is why they continued to reach the pinnacle of success. Here are three key ways to stay focused on success.Continue reading

The Stories We Tell: Creating and Perpetuating Your Corporate DNA

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Recently, several of my clients have become extremely interested in exploring what they call their “corporate DNA.” At first I resisted, because I was concerned that this metaphor implied that they were incapable of changing. But for the most part, this model is being used to explore the unique identity of an organization — the strengths that are admired, and should be preserved and transmitted to future generations.

Most every kid who has the luxury of getting an education learns the basics of DNA. DNA is what causes a giraffe to have a long neck, kangaroos to have pouches, and porcupines to have quills instead of fur. Tadpoles turn into frogs, not butterflies, because of their DNA. And a lot of behavior has its roots in an organism’s DNA. Birds have wings, but dogs don’t, therefore dogs don’t fly. Snakes, lacking both legs and wings, resort to crawling. But what is the meaning of the DNA of an organization?
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What is Design Thinking? A Powerful Methodology for Projects, but NOT “Thinking About Design”!

Why do simple and effective approaches to getting things done often become obscured by jargon? For example, way back in the last century when I worked at HP we experienced big changes in the business environment. Although layoffs are common at HP these days, back then everyone I knew believed that HP had a “no layoff” policy. As offshoring became commonplace, it became clear that the lifetime employment contract was no longer viable. Executives and HR people started using terms like “career self-reliance” and “workforce resilience” — fancy phrases used to convey a pretty simple message: “You’re on your own when it comes to career development and job security.” Unsurprisingly, thousands of people were laid off over the next few years. Being laid off didn’t bother me nearly as much as seeing the reality of our situation needlessly obscured by buzzwords. I strongly believe that the terminology used in communicating the changes was unnecessarily complicated and indirect. Complex doesn’t necessarily mean complicated. I prefer to follow Einstein’s guidance to “make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

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Take a Shot of Scrappiness and Call Me in the Morning by Emily Hennessee

iStock_000010925929XSmall-300x199(Originally posted on

I’m delighted to post this story on behalf of Emily, who sent it to me as evidence that she was becoming more scrappy. In this story Emily shows us how we can help our teams think things through and clarify goals by asking good questions and facilitating discussions that people are “too busy” to have without our influence. It can take courage to schedule a meeting when people feel they have “real work” to do. But – done right – meetings ARE real work. Read and learn from Emily’s courageous leadership! – Kimberly Wiefling, Author,Scrappy Project Management Continue reading

Similarities Between Parenting a Newborn and Project Management by Kimberly Wiefling (Wiefling Consulting)

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(Posted anonymously on behalf of a program engineering manager at a fine, upstanding organization where it would  be  best if his name was not used.)

Things are going well on the home front. I am beginning to draw a lot of correlations between parenting a newborn  and  succeeding at work. A few examples: Continue reading

How to Lead Effectively. Video Blog 3 by Kimberly Wiefling (Wiefling Consulting)

How can you lead effectively when you’re promoted? You have 2 ears and 1 mouth, so use them in that ratio! Start by listening, collaboratively set clear goals, and work together as a real team, not just a group of people jockeying for position, power and status. Check out Kimberly’s 1 minute view on this.

* Thanks to Japjot Sethi of Gloopt for making this professional video!