Family-Based Immigration,  Green Card,  Marriage

Can Working Without Authorization In the U.S. Prevent You From Getting A Green Card?

Working without authorization in the United States is a serious violation of U.S. immigration law, and can lead to you not being able to get a green card in the future. However, if you are married to a U.S. citizen and you’re getting your green card through your marriage, or you’re an “immediate relative” of a U.S. citizen, you can be forgiven for working without authorization assuming you did not claim to be a U.S. citizen when you applied for the job.

This scenario comes up all the time with my clients, and it’s always something they worry and ask about, but the immigration laws actually automatically forgive this if you are an “immediate relative” of a U.S. citizen. Immediate relatives of a U.S. citizen are spouses, parents, and children under 21 who are unmarried. You can read more about it here. However, if your relative who is petitioning for you is a green card holder, then working without authorization is not automatically forgiven.

In summary, it’s still important to keep in mind that working that working without authorization is still a violation of U.S. immigration law and can have serious consequences. It is always best to work with an experienced immigration attorney to ensure that you are following all applicable immigration laws and procedures.