Expat - New York

Getting Work in NY as an Expat, I-765 application

I hope my job hunt story will be as much as a surprise to everyone as it was to me.

For those that have been following our journey to New York, you would know that I wasn’t able to immediately work once I arrived, however Husband was able to.

Someone had told me that I had to first apply and receive my Social Security Number (SSN) before I could apply for my ‘Work Authorisation’ (I-765).  I was also told that a few days after applying for our SSN we could go back into the office and ask for our number instead of waiting for our card in the mail.

And without double checking if that was the case, or still the case, I listened to this advice to start off with.

SSN application

Husband and I went to the US Social Security Administration (123 William St, New York, NY 10038) within the first few weeks of arriving.

Husband was able to successfully get his application approved BUT we were told that under no circumstance were we able to get his SSN other than wait for the mail.

My application, however, was not so streamline.  The person processing said that I needed to supply our marriage certificate to prove our marriage, despite it not being stated on any paperwork advising us so.

Husband and I returned the following week with our marriage certificate in hand but I was then told that because I had laminated the certificate it could not be accepted.  I was not aware that laminated copies were not accepted since my laminated birth and marriage certificates were accepted in Australia.

I then had to reorder our marriage certificate, from Sydney, Australia, adding another 2-4 weeks to my SSN application, and costing just under $100.

Husbandt was not impressed at the time as that had meant we had to wait 2-4 extra weeks until I could apply for work authorisation.

However, I redeemed myself with my discovery that I was actually able to apply for the I-765 in the meantime.

I-765 application

I completed my online application for my I-765 which I then sent in with my photos and a printed copy.  I popped it all in the mail on 21 January and received confirmation that it was received at the office on the 26 January.

At the time I applied for my I-765, the current processing time advised was ‘up to 3 months’.

I must admit, I wasn’t complaining about a 3 month wait, nor was I hot on chasing the Immigration department at any point. Unemployment suited me.

Husband, however, was chasing me to make sure I was keeping an eye on my application.  The website stated that I could chase my application after 75 days.  Husband made me put in my calendar my 75th day so I would call.

Before I could ‘get around’ to following up, I actually saw online that I was approved on the 16 April but would have to wait for my paperwork in the mail which included an Work Authorization ID card. All the paperwork arrived by the 23 April.

My application took pretty much took the whole 3 months (26 Jan – 23 Apr).

The job hunt

I started applying for jobs before I received my paperwork.  Here is a mini timeline of my job hunt:

  • Thursday 16 April – received approval
  • Tuesday 21 April – applied for jobs online
  • Wednesday 22 April – received phone call from recruiter about a job. I liked the sound of the job and asked to be put forward. The recruiter advised it would take up to 2-3 weeks before they would hear back from the company.  I received a phone call later that afternoon arranging for a phone interview the following Monday.
  • Thursday 23 April – received work authorization in the mail
  • Monday 27 April – had phone interview with the company in the morning. Received a phone call later that afternoon with offer of the job.
  • Tuesday 12 May – start job

To be honest, I was not expecting to get work so quickly, even if this job was a contract.

The job

One of the reasons why I accepted the role even though it was only a contract was because of the company.  The previous companies on my resume were not global names and so I thought having a Top 4 on my resume would help with future jobs.

I am loving the role.  Contracting has it pros and cons but so far the pros outweigh the cons (the only con is that my team is small and so I really only come in and do my work and there is not much of a social life).

So bye bye unemployment for now.

Anyone else that is in a similar situation to what I was with applications –  always check if what you’ve been told by a friend is correct as things may have changed since their days. If I had listened to what this person told me,  I would have applied for my I-765 much later.
If you are married, best take your marriage certificate to all your interviews for US documents as a just in case.  You don’t want to be sitting around in the waiting area too many times.

One thought on “Getting Work in NY as an Expat, I-765 application

  1. A wonderful timetable. Date and job start is before date of permit approval. From the Taigum critic. Our sincere congratulations.


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