If you are a foreign student in the U.S. and are offered employment with an international organization that qualifies under the “International Organization Immunities Act,” you may be eligible for a work permit (also called an employment authorization document or EAD card). As a practical matter, the qualifying organizations are usually located in Washington, DC. Ask your school’s DSO or career planning office for more information.
To apply, you’ll need to -prepare certain forms and documents, discussed below.
To apply for a work permit based on an offer to intern with a qualifying international organization, you’ll need to prepare the following forms and submit them to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS):
Form I-765 is the main application used by immigrants needing work permits. It looks like a long form when you print it out, but the bulk of the pages are instructions, which you don’t need to fill out or return to USCIS. When you get to Question 16, understand that your eligibility category depends on the basis for your work permit request. For an international organization internship application, your category is (c)(3)(ii).
To apply for a work permit based on an offer to intern with an international organization, you’ll need to prepare the following items:
Once you’ve prepared all the application materials for your international organization work permit, mail it (preferably via courier or certified mail with a return receipt requested) to the USCIS office or Service Center listed in the instructions that come with Form I-765.
USCIS will send you a receipt notice within two to three weeks. The receipt notice will include a case number that will allow you to check its status online at www.uscis.gov.
If you are approved, USCIS will mail you a wallet-sized plastic work permit card with your photo on it. The card will indicate how many months you are allowed to work. You are not allowed to work until you receive this card.