What papers do I need to legally work in the U.S.?

Part of the American way of life is securing good employment. If you want to find a job, you first should make sure your papers are in order as your new employer will require certain documents upon hiring you.  According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services explains that to legally hire you, your potential employer must collect documentation that proves your identity and legal right to work in the country. If you cannot provide this information, then your employer cannot allow you to work. 

Identity documents 

As an immigrant, to prove you are who you say you are, your employer will need to see a form of identification with your picture on it. This may include a valid driver’s license, military ID card or school ID. Other documents that may not have your picture are also acceptable, such as a voter registration card, or if you are under the age of 18, a copy of your school records. 

Authorization to work documents 

You must also show proof that you can legally work in this country. Your employee can accept an employment authorization from the Department of Homeland Security or a Social Security card that does not contain a restriction. Restrictions may state you can only work with authorization from the INS or DHS. It may also say it is not valid for employment. 

Proof of both 

You may have documents that will provide both proof of identity and work authorization. These may include your passport, permanent resident card, alien registration receipt card or employment authorization document card. If you have one of these, then it is the only document you will have to give your employer. 

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