Can You Apply For Unemployment Insurance Benefits If You Have A Work Permit?

Can you apply for unemployment insurance benefits if you have a work permit? That’s a question I’m getting from a lot of my clients and a lot of other people right now. Unfortunately, it’s a very timely question because we currently have the global pandemic with the corona virus COVID-19.

A lot of people are out of their jobs, and a lot of people are getting laid off or having their hours reduced. I hope you’re not one of them but if you are, my heart goes out to you, I hope you’re well, I hope you’re safe and you and your family are surviving this challenging ordeal that we’re all going through.

In case you don’t know me, I’m Josh Goldstein. I help people across the country and around the world get work permits, visas, green cards, and citizenship. I’m an immigration lawyer so the answer is that you’re a non-citizen with a work permit, and you can apply for unemployment benefits.

If you have a work permit, you’re eligible

This is not considered a matter of public charge so don’t be afraid to take the unemployment benefits. It’s not going to count against you in terms of public charge if you’ve heard anything about that.

You’re eligible if you’re a non-citizen as long as you have a valid work permit. You have to show your proof of your permission to work, i.e., a copy of your work permit, and you should be able to get those unemployment benefits.


Every state is different

Of course every state is different and unemployment benefits are regulated by the state. Each state has its own particular protocol, but in general, even if you’re a non-citizen, as long as you have a work permit, you should be good to go. If you’re on OPT or you have applied for a green card and you have the EAD then you’re also eligible.

I hope that helps. If you have more questions about anything related to immigration, just leave them in the comments below and contact us. I’ll be happy to answer your questions and do anything I can to help you out.