Jump to other news and events
Purdue signature

Foreign Nationals who may Work <strong>in the U.S. without Restriction</strong>

Certain foreign nationals, by virtue of their status, are authorized to work in the United States with no restrictions as to the location or type of employment. Although these individuals have an unrestricted right to work, some must apply to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). This is not an exclusive list but shows the most common classifications of foreign nationals who may work in the U.S. without restriction.

Lawful Permanent Resident
Conditional Permanent Resident
Refugee
Asylee
Fiancé or Fiancée
Individuals Granted Extended Voluntary Departure
Individuals Granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
Classification
Description
Documentation
Lawful Permanent Resident Individuals who have permission to reside in the U.S. on a permanent basis ("green card" holders). Form I-551 (or stamp in passport), Resident Alien card ("green card"). This card must be reissued every 10 years; however, the individual’s status does not expire.
Conditional Permanent Resident Individuals who have been granted conditional permanent residency in the U.S. In most cases, conditional residency is granted for a period of 2 years. At the end of this period, the individual is required to petition INS for removal of the conditional status. If approved, the individual is converted to lawful permanent residency. Form I-551 (or stamp in passport) Conditional Temporary Resident Alien card.

Employers must re-verify employment eligibility after the expiration on the card.

Refugee Individuals admitted to the U.S. who have proven a well-founded fear of persecution in their home country. Admitted to the U.S. for one year, after which time they can apply to become a lawful permanent resident. EAD issued by INS, an admissions stamp in a passport, a United Nations refugee travel document, a U.S. refugee travel document, or an I-94 card notated with refugee status and containing employment authorization endorsement.

Employers must re-verify employment eligibility after the expiration of the document.

Asylee Individuals who have been granted asylum status after arrival in the U.S. based on a well-founded fear of persecution in their home country. Must obtain an EAD, with an expiration date, from INS. Employers must re-verify employment eligibility after the expiration on the card.
Fiancé or Fiancee Individuals who are the fiancés or fiancées of U.S. citizens and their children under age 21 admitted to the U.S. as K-1 or K-2 nonimmigrants Must obtain an EAD card from INS. EADs are issued for a 90 day period following admission. If the marriage does not take place, the K status (and the resulting work authorization) is terminated. If the marriage does take place, the individual is eligible to apply for and be granted conditional permanent resident status. Employers must re-verify employment eligibility after the expiration on the card.
Individuals Granted Extended Voluntary Departure (VD) Certain individuals granted permission to remain in the U.S. under administrative order. Must obtain an EAD from INS. Employers must re-verify employment eligibility after the expiration on the card.
Individuals Granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Special protection from deportation is available for qualified nationals of designated countries. Extended by U.S. government, generally in 1-year periods. Must obtain EAD from INS. Employers must re-verify employment eligibility after the expiration on the card.
Key for abbreviations:
EAD - Employment Authorization Document (I-688 Form) I-94 card - Form for all nonimmigrants
INS - Immigration and Naturalization Service I-551 Form - Temporary stamp or document granting permanent residency