“I recently married a U.S. citizen, and we immediately filed my paperwork to get a green card and in the meantime my work authorization. I have been offered a very good job and I’m anxious about keeping it.
“But I don’t have my work authorization yet. I called USCIS and the officer said there were some instances where cases can be expedited, but he wasn’t very clear and I don’t know what to do. I really don’t want to lose the job just because I’m not technically legal yet.
“I am also concerned about getting a Social Security card right away. How long does it take to get one, because I know that I definitely need it for my new job.”
Employment authorization documents (EAD) are issued within 90 days after the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) receives the applicant’s paperwork. The approval routinely comes before 90 days, so don’t be surprised to see it sooner rather than later.
There are instances when USCIS can expedite processing of certain requests, including EADs, but there are specific grounds for doing so. A pending job offer would likely not be considered reason enough to speed your EAD.
According to USCIS, all expedite requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and are granted at the discretion of the director. The burden is on the applicant or petitioner to demonstrate that one or more of the expedite criteria have been met. The criteria are as follows:
*Severe financial loss to company or individual
*Extreme emergent situation
*Nonprofit status of requesting organization in furtherance of the cultural and social interests of the U.S.
*Department of Defense or national interest situation (Note: Request must come from official U.S. government entity and state that delay will be detrimental to our government)
*Compelling interest of USCIS.
According to immigration attorney Bruce Morrison, creator of the Morrison visa program back in the 1990s, there could be another way for you to secure your dream job if the EAD isn’t issued in time.
“A better strategy would be for her to explain the situation to the new employer, including that she will have the EAD in 60days and offer to volunteer in the job till the EAD arrives. At that point if they want to be nice, they can pay her a signing bonus to cover the period of free work. But even if they don’t, if the job is that good, donating 60 days for a long term good position is worth the cost,” Morrison said.
As far as your Social Security number goes, you can expect to receive it approximately two weeks after the Social Security Administration verifies your EAD with the Department of Homeland Security. In the meantime, the administration can issue a notice acknowledging that you filed an application and that the documents are being verified.