Currently, obtaining a work permit takes a very long time. Even in ordinary cases of family reunification immigration (the adjustment of status process to a green card), obtaining a work permit takes six to eight months.

But in some cases, you may ask USCIS to expedite the adjudication of an EAD request if it meets one or more of the following circumstances:

  • Severe financial loss to a company or person. A company can demonstrate that it would suffer a severe financial loss or have to lay off other employees. Job loss may be sufficient to establish severe financial loss for a person, depending on the individual circumstances.
  • Emergencies and urgent humanitarian reasons. Examples may include but are not limited to illness, disability, extreme living conditions, death in the family, or a critical need to travel to obtain medical treatment in a limited amount of time. An emergency may include an urgent need to expedite employment authorization for healthcare workers during a national emergency such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • A nonprofit organization whose request is in furtherance of the cultural or social interests of the US. Examples may include a medical professional urgently needed for medical research related to a specific social US interest (such as the COVID-19 pandemic).
  • US government interests may include but are not limited to, cases identified as urgent by other government agencies and public safety or national security interests. Examples include, but are not limited to, a noncitizen victim or witness cooperating with a federal, state, or local agency who requires employment authorization because the respective agency is seeking back pay or reinstatement in court proceedings.
  • Clear USCIS error.

You can generally request expedited processing by calling the USCIS Contact Center. When you call to request expedited processing, the USCIS Contact Center creates and forwards a service request to the office with jurisdiction over your application or petition. After receiving the service request, the reviewing office may request additional documentation to support expedited processing. Not every circumstance that fits in one of these categories will result in expedited processing.