Work Permit & Authorization

You can apply for a work permit after you apply for asylum and most likely after your asylum interview.  ( When you submit your asylum application, you will be scheduled for an interview after 21 days).  If you are referred to immigration court after your first asylum interview, you can still get a work permit.

The Work permit application can be found here

Your work permit must be renewed in two years. When your work permit expires, it is automatically extended for 180 days past the date of expiration on your work permit card.

You still have to apply for renewal,  but this extension will help make sure that you are not left without work authorization while you wait for your new work permit card. 

If your employer/boss has any questions about this, or asks you for proof of this extension, here is what you should do:

1. Provide them with a copy of the receipt that shows that you have requested a renewal of your work permit.

2. Show them the letter (click button below) that your work permit is valid for six months while you are awaiting for your renewed work permit card.  

This letter can also be found on UCSIC website at

UPDates as of September 2018

Starting September 17, 2018, the work authorization form will be seven pages instead of two. You must pay careful attention to each question and answer them all as accurately as possible.


In section 30. (c)(8) the form will ask you if you have ever been arrested in your home country, the United States, or elsewhere. Arrests include political arrests. It is extremely important to not omit this type of information as part of your application because the United States government may use it as a reason to deny your employment authorization and asylum applications.

You can find the form here.

Advice from RIF

The United States government is more strict regarding asylum seekers than it has been in the recent past. If you have questions as you complete your initial or renewal employment authorization application, including about the required documentation, please contact RIF at to schedule a legal consultation.

More detailed information about the changes can be found on Angela Torregoza’s blog here.

Work Authorization Delays

If you have applied for your work permit and it is delayed by over 60 days you can contact or call the National Customer Service Center (NCSC) at 1-800-375-5283.

For more information on your work permit, click here.