I recently filed for adjustment of status. Can I work while my application is pending?

It depends. Immigrants who have filed for  adjustment of status(AOS)—Form I-485—are able to work as long as they have acquired an employment authorization document. It may take some time for USCIS to process your application, so it is important that your work authorization extends for the full length of time it takes to grant you your adjustment of status.


Here are a few things to remember about filing for adjustment of status:


  • All applicants who wish to work with a pending AOS must obtain employment authorization unless they were admitted to the U.S. under a non-immigrant status that allows them to work, such as H-1B.
  • Employment Authorization Document (EAD) can be concurrently filed with your AOS application.
  • Employment authorization applications typically take 90 days to be adjudicated. If the immigrant’s application requires additional information or extended background checks, the decision may take longer.
  • Applicants may be granted up to 2 years of employment authorization while the AOS process is completed. If the application process takes longer than two years, the applicant may renew his/her EAD.


It is important to keep your work authorization current and to apply for a renewal well in advance of an expiry date. Any length of U.S. employment without authorization may jeopardize your visa status and your family’s ability to apply for permanent residence. If you are unsure of your work status, our attorneys can advise you on what steps you need to take to maintain legal residency.


Feel free to contact us for more information.