In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses the implications of accepting unlawful employment while in the United States, how it can impact your future green card or immigration status in the United States.
First, what is unlawful employment?
Unlawful employment occurs when a foreign national accepts employment outside of their authorization. For example, if you do not have a work visa with authorizes you to engage in lawful employment, a green card, or employment authorization card, and you accept employment regardless, then you have accepted unlawful employment. In some cases, even unpaid employment may be considered unlawful employment.
Unlawful employment is employment that may have occurred before your last entry (maybe years ago), employment that you have taken before you have filed for adjustment of status, etc.
Unauthorized employment may impact a person’s ability to legalize their status in the United States. However, there are certain instances in which accepting unauthorized employment will not have a negative effect on a person’s future ability to obtain permanent residence.
One of these exceptions is what we call the “immediate relative exception.”
If you are an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen, and are filing for adjustment of status based on your family relationship as:
- The spouse of a U.S. citizen;
- The unmarried child under 21 years of age of a U.S. citizen; or
- The parent of a U.S. citizen (if the U.S. citizen is 21 years of age or older).
Your acceptance of unauthorized employment will not impact your ability to obtain permanent residence because that unauthorized employment will be considered “waived” at the interview.
Recipients of VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) filing for adjustment of status also qualify for this exception and will not be adversely affected by acceptance of unauthorized employment.
In addition, certain physicians and their families who are immigrating to the United States may also be exempt, as well as certain U.S. service members who are in the military and are in the process of adjusting their status.
For more information click on the video above.