The categories of workers permitted to work in the U.S. include:
- Citizen of the the United States
- Non citizen national of the United States
- Lawful permanent resident
- An alien authorized to work
Foreign Nationals Working in the U.S.
Foreign workers who may be authorized to work in the US include:
Temporary (non-immigrant) Workers
A temporary worker is an individual seeking to enter the United States temporarily for a specific purpose. Non-immigrants enter the United States for a temporary period of time, and once in the United States, are restricted to the activity or reason for which their non-immigrant visa was issued.
Permanent (Immigrant) Workers
A permanent worker is an individual who is authorized to live and work permanently in the United States.
Students and Exchange Visitors
Students may, under certain circumstances, be allowed to work in the United States. However, they must obtain permission from an authorized official at their school. The authorized official is known as a Designed School Official (DSO) for students and the Responsible Officer (RO) for exchange visitors. Exchange visitors may be eligible to work temporarily in the US via the exchange visitor visa program.
Employer Verification of Authorization to Work in the US
When hired for a new job, employees are required to prove that they are legally entitled to work in the United States. Employers are required to verify the eligibility to work and the identity and of all new hires. An Employment Eligibility Verification form (I-9 form) must be completed and kept on file by the employer.
Employers must verify that an individual whom they plan to employ or continue to employ in the United States is authorized to accept employment in the United States. Individuals, such as those who have been admitted as permanent residents, granted asylum or refugee status, or admitted in work-related nonimmigrant classifications, may have employment authorization as a direct result of their immigration status. Other aliens may need to apply individually for employment authorization, including for eligibility to work at a temporary position in the US.
Proof of Eligiblity to Work
Employees must present original documents, not photocopies, to their employer when they are hired. The only exception is an employee may present a certified copy of a birth certificate. On the form, the employer must verify the employment eligibility and identity documents presented by the employee and record the document information on an I-9 form.
Here's a list of documents that can be used to prove eligibility to work in the US.
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