If you’re facing the prospect of deportation from the United States, you are likely frightened and stressed worrying about the process. Almost all matters handled by immigration courts are complex and some can take many months or even years to resolve. The question of whether you are lawfully permitted to work during this time is a natural concern.

Not all individuals facing deportation are legally allowed to keep working while fighting against their removal. There are, however, certain instances where those facing deportation can apply for work authorizations from the court.

Can Cancellation of Removal Applicants Continue Working?

Those who have already found themselves in the middle of removal proceedings can potentially seek cancellation of removal by making a winning case to their immigration judge. To do so, you must have lived in the US for a certain number of years, be of good moral character, and prove that family members who are US citizens or legal permanent residents will suffer if you are deported. Other considerations can be given to those who are victims of a crime or victims of abuse.

Provided the individual does not have a disqualifying criminal record, people with pending applications for the cancellation of removal may seek authorization to continue working during this time.

Are Asylum Seekers and Refugees Allowed to Work While in the Deportation Process?

Applying for asylum or refugee status for those fearing persecution in their home country is one of many options available to those in removal proceedings. Among other criteria, one must prove a well-founded fear of persecution if they were to be returned to their home country.

Asylum and refugee status can take a long time to finalize. You may apply for work authorization while asylum or refugee status is pending, but there may be an extended wait period before authorization for employment is granted.

Can You Work While Awaiting an Adjustment of Status?

Some people in removal proceedings may use this frightening moment as an opportunity to apply for legal residency, such as a green card. While the decision for this application is pending, it may be possible to ask for employment authorization from an immigration judge.

There are many ways for individuals to keep working, even while staring down potential deportation. However, all these legal options require proving your case to a judge, and that can sometimes be a challenging task for a novice in the courtroom. Contact an experienced deportation defense attorney at Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C. to schedule a free case evaluation.