In Florida, a foreign national who receives a valid work permit can go to their local office of the Division of Motor Vehicles to obtain a driver’s license.

The expression “there’s more than one way to skin a cat" immediately comes to mind when thinking of an application for a work permit. There are over 20 categories, which make an individual eligible to work in the United States. The following are three of the not-so-common ways a foreigner can gain permission to legally work in the United States.

Order of Supervision: Despite an outstanding order of deportation, exclusion or removal, foreigners are eligible to legally work in the United States if they are under an order of supervision (periodically checking in with Immigration). They will need to demonstrate economic necessity for the work permit. In these cases, we request birth certificates of minor U.S. citizen children and proof that they are financially dependent on the foreigner.

Students: Normally, neither academic (F-1) nor vocational (M-1) students are allowed to work. However, there are exceptions. M-1 students who have completed their studies can seek a work permit to obtain practical training. F-1 students can seek off- campus employment if they are suffering from severe economic hardship. This can be the case when conditions in the homeland are critical, such as for Syrians. The documents that accompany such applications include affidavits, medical records, and psychological reports, if applicable.

Non-DACA Deferred Action: Individuals who came to the United States may obtain a work permit through DACA (deferred action for childhood arrivals). However, deferred action also exists for individuals who are not DACA-eligible. An individual who is caring for a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident with serious medical issues may request and be granted deferred action by the Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS). This means that CIS as a matter of discretion allows foreigners to remain in the United States legally. These individuals are eligible for a work permit, even though they do not have legal status.

Each application for a work permit requires unique evidence, depending on the category of eligibility. Foreigners should always contact an experienced immigration attorney to determine if they may qualify for work authorization in the United States.

Although the author is a Board-certified immigration expert, this guide is intended as general information and not specific legal advice. This communication does not create an attorney-client relationship. Schedule a consultation with an attorney to address individual concerns.