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Permission to Work

Washington D.C. Attorneys to Obtain Permission to Work as an Asylee

It is important to be aware that United States immigration law does not automatically allow everyone hoping for immigration status to work. Rather, in order to work as an immigrant before receiving citizenship, you must apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), which is a work permit. If you win your asylum case, you’ll be allowed to obtain an unrestricted Social Security card, and this can be presented to a prospective employer. Seasoned Washington D.C. asylum lawyer Matthew T. Famiglietti has years of experience representing asylum seekers who hope to be able to work in the country. Give him a call.

Permission to Work in Washington D.C.

A pending asylum application alone does not allow you to work in the United States. When you have a pending application for asylum, you must have been waiting at least 365 days (previously 150 days) without an initial decision on your application in order to receive governmental permission to work. This decision may be pending from either the asylum office or the immigration court and sometimes the waits are long.

When our Washington D.C. asylum lawyers apply for asylum affirmatively on behalf of a client, our first step is to file an application by mail. The receipt notice will specify the date the application was received; that’s the date from which your wait to get permission to work will be calculated. In some cases, when you’re already in removal proceedings and applying for asylum defensively, you can file a full asylum application with the immigration court, and the date on which the application is filed with the court is the date from which the waiting period for the work permit is calculated. However, your EAD application could still be denied if your asylum application is delayed; this could happen, for instance, because you didn’t submit additional evidence needed in your asylum application.

If you don’t receive an initial decision on the asylum petition within the waiting period, our lawyers can take steps to apply for a work permit, assuming you’re eligible. USCIS Form I-765 will need to be completed.


You might be eligible to apply for an EAD if:

  • You came into the country lawfully after August 25, 2020.
  • You filed your asylum application from a year of the date of your last entry into the country.
  • You appeared for a scheduled biometric services appointment related to your asylum application or employment authorization.
  • You appeared for an interview with a USCIS asylum officer or your immigration judge hearing
  • You aren’t described by 8 CFR 208.7(a)(1)(iii)
  • You didn’t delay when you filed your initial application
  • A final decision wasn’t made on your asylum application.

8 CFR 208.7(a)(1)(iii) specifies the reasons you would not be eligible for employment authorization. These reasons include:

  • You were convicted in the United States or abroad of an aggravated felony.
  • You were convicted on or after the effective date of an egregious crime.
  • There are serious reasons for believing you perpetrated a serious non-political crime outside the country.
  • You failed to show you were not subject to mandatory denial of asylum based on regulatory criminal grounds.
  • An asylum officer denied your asylum application within a 365-day period or before adjudication of an initial request for employment authorization
Hire Our Washington D.C. Lawyer to Represent You to Seek Permission to Work

It can be difficult to survive in the United States if you are unable to work for a living. Accordingly, obtaining permission to work as an asylee can be a high-stakes matter for refugees. Experienced Washington D.C. asylum attorney Matthew T. Famiglietti may be able to represent you not only in your asylum petition, but also your application for permission to work. Mr. Famiglietti represents refugees in D.C., Virginia, and Maryland. Fill out our online form or call the Law Office of Matthew T. Famiglietti at (202) 669-5880.

Please note, there is a consultation fee for any calls related to this practice area.

Client Reviews
Mr. Famiglietti is an extraordinary attorney. I went to him at the referral of a friend who had been helped by him. He was compassionate, professional, and relentless as he advocated for me. I highly recommend him and his excellent staff. A.T.
Matthew Famiglietti is a great attorney he provided me with excellent legal representation and I was very blessed to have him. K.B.
I am truly blessed to be represented by Mr. Famiglietti. He is approachable, knowledgeable, understanding and was well prepared to solve my legal issue. Mr. Famiglietti treated me with sincerity and communicated effectively. I followed his advice and was truly surprised by the outcome of my case. I am most thankful that I listen to him and consider Mr. Famiglietti a friend for life. I recommend his services without hesitation. L.J.L.
I'm not a very formal person and Matt made me feel comfortable at our first meeting. He is a competent, sharp and very insightful, asking the right questions and giving you a game plan. Above all, he is honest about your case upfront. He was very patient and understanding that I was late and never had an attitude with me. I highly recommend Mr. Famiglietti. Thom K.
Mr. Famiglietti chose to represent me in my darkest hour. My health was failing and my employer was illegally terminating me. Mr. Famiglietti built a strategy and plan to bring to light my employers flawed ways. Matt gave me confidence in the way he built his plan. Matt knew all the laws pertaining to my workplace case. He gave me confidence and his representation gave me a favorable outcome in my case. Jamere