Working in the US 2017-07-21T12:32:49+00:00

Work Authorization

G-4 dependents who would like to seek employment in the U.S. must obtain work authorization.

Eligible Dependents

Under current regulations, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) grants U.S. work authorization to the following G-4 dependents:

  • Spouses and same-sex domestic partners
  • Unmarried children under age 21;
  • Unmarried children under age 23 who are full time students at post-secondary educational institutions; and
  • Unmarried children of any age who are physically or mentally disabled.

Eligible dependents may be authorized to work at any type of job, including unskilled or semi-skilled jobs, on a part-time or temporary basis.

Dependents of G-4 visa holders who seek employment in other international organizations may either become a principal staff member in that institution or work under valid work authorization as a G-4 dependent.  Family members of G-4 visa holders are not eligible to obtain any other work visa in the U.S.

Obtaining Work Authorization

The first step in obtaining work authorization is to acquire a Personal Identity Number (PID) from the U.S. Department of State (DOS). The IMF, as the sponsoring organization, reports new employees and family members to the DOS, typically at the end of each month. It normally takes between 4 and 6 weeks from the time the information is submitted until the PID is received. PIDs can only be requested once the employee has arrived in the United States. The same is true for family members.

Once you receive a PID, you may apply for work authorization. The application is processed through the IMF’s Visa Services Office (VSO), which normally takes 8 to 10 weeks. The application includes the following:

  1. Form I-566 (Interagency Record of Request for Dependent Employment Authorization), through which the DOS confirms the eligibility of the applicant to work in the U.S.
  2. Form I-765 (Employment Authorization), which will be sent from the DOS to the USCIS as a request for an Employment Authorization Card (EAC).
  3. A description of the anticipated employment from either the prospective employer or from an individual who intends to be self-employed:
    • A letter from the prospective employer on official stationery should including
      1. A statement that the applicant is qualified for the job
      2. The job title and brief description of duties
      3. The number of hours expected to be worked per week
      4. The salary or other means of remuneration


    • A letter from a prospective self-employed applicant should include (sample letter)
      1. A statement of intent to work in a particular field
      2. A brief description of title and duties
      3. A description of how much you intend to charge
      4. The number of hours of work expected
  1. Resume / CV
  2. A clear photocopy of the passport ID page of the IMF staff and applicant.
  3. A clear photocopy of I-94 form of both the IMF staff and applicant. If you were not issued a paper I-94, you can obtain a copy online from USICS.
  4. A clear photocopy of G-4 visa of both the IMF staff and applicant.
  5. Two acceptable color photographs (see requirements)

Once the DOS receives the application and endorses the I-566, it forwards the request to the USCIS, which issues the EAC to the applicant. Once an individual receives the EAC, he/she may begin to work and apply for a U.S. Social Security number.

Spouses and/or dependents should understand that it could take 12 weeks or longer before he/she may begin working in the United States. Many Fund spouses use this time to take advantage of benefits such as the Spouse Employment Assistance Program and subsidized English language programs for spouses and partners, or to pursue continuing education courses on one’s own.

Work Authorization Application Checklist of Documents:

Download the full checklist here.

Form I-566 | instructions (valid until May 2018)
Form I-765 | instructions (valid until February 2018)
Letter of Employment (sample letter)
Resume / CV
A clear photocopy of passport ID page
A clear photocopy of I-94 form
A clear photocopy of G-4 visa
Two acceptable color photographs (requirements)

Work FAQ

If my spouse’s employer has agreed to sponsor my spouse, currently holding a G-4 nonimmigrant visa, for an immigrant visa (green card), can he or she then change status to that of an immigrant? Alternatively, if my spouse is successful in the Annual Immigration Diversity Lottery, is he or she eligible to change status? 2017-07-17T16:47:55+00:00

Yes. A dependent spouse or child can change status from nonimmigrant to immigrant status, provided he or she is eligible for such status, files the appropriate documents, and is approved by the USCIS.

Is employing someone on a G-4 dependent visa the same as “sponsoring” that person under the immigration laws? 2017-07-17T16:47:56+00:00

No. Hiring a G-4 dependent who has acquired work authorization as described above does not constitute “sponsorship” of the employee as that term is used and recognized in other aspects of immigration law. For example, in the case of temporary employees hired pursuant to section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b) of the INA (commonly referred to as “H-1B employees”) or in the case of individuals applying for immigrant status, an employer must actively sponsor an applicant and deal directly with both the US Department of Labor and the USCIS.  This is not the case for employers who hire G-4 dependents.

Are there any special procedures involving children who hold G-4 dependent visas? 2017-07-17T16:47:56+00:00

If the dependent is under 17, he or she will need a labor certification from the child’s school or relevant county official.  If the dependent is between 21 and 23, he or she will need to provide a letter from the post-secondary institution documenting full-time student status and the expected date of graduation. The letter must be on university letterhead with the school seal.

Can a G-4 dependent work for an employer after being authorized to work as a self-employed individual? 2017-07-17T16:47:56+00:00

Yes.  In many instances, a G-4 dependent who initially obtained work authorization as a self-employed individual is hired to work for an employer.  In that case, the G-4 dependent can begin to work for the new employer under his or her currently valid EAC.

For how long can a G-4 dependent work in the United States? 2017-07-17T16:47:56+00:00

Once approved, an application for employment is typically granted for three years.  However, work authorization can be continually renewed for as long as the G-4 dependent is legally entitled to remain in the U.S. Dependents are reminded to allow sufficient time to apply for authorization renewals to avoid a gap between the expiration of the current EAC and the issuance of a new one.

Are G-4 visa dependents immune from income tax or Social Security liability on wages earned in the United States? 2017-07-17T16:47:57+00:00

No.  G-4 visa dependents who are granted employment authorization are responsible for paying all federal, state, and local income, employment, and related taxes and Social Security contributions on any compensation received.  Employers withhold applicable taxes and FICA duties from G-4 dependents just as they do for their other employees.

Social Security Number

G-4 dependent working in the United States with a work authorization will likely need a Social Security number (SSN) for identification and tax purposes. Read more about applying for a SNN on our Visa and Immigration page.