Work Permits


A work permit is the permission to take a job within a foreign country. It may also be a permit given to minors allowing them to work legally under child labor laws. Within an industry, a work permit may be required to execute certain functions within a factory outside normal operational tasks (such as maintenance tasks) — in some places they might be called Permit to Work (PTW).


  • In general, the United States does not require work permits for adult citizens. However, certain aliens are required to have an Employment Authorization Document from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
  • The federal government does not require work permits or proof-of-age certificates for a minor to be employed. However, the possession of an age certificate constitutes a good faith effort to comply with minimum age requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. The United States Department of Labor will issue a “certificate of age” if the minor employee’s state does not issue them, or if the minor is requested by his or her employer to provide one


  • Q: I’m just checking to see if I have missed anything with work permits.  The last that I knew they were not being required due to COVID. And I believe I read somewhere the Dept of Workforce Development would be taking them over.  We are back in session, and we’re getting a lot of requests for work permits and jobs are insisting on them now. Wondering if anyone knows of any updates?
    • A: I wanted to clarify that I did not speak to DWD, but it was the Dept. of Labor re: Work Permits. The expectation is that if your school is open, and able to issue work permits, then it should be happening. The Indiana Department of Labor will again enforce the requirement for employers to have on-file work permits for minor employees starting September 8th, 2020 Michelle Clarke, IDOE (August 2020)
    • A: This is what was on the Dept of Labor website. Effective September 8, 2020, the Indiana Department of Labor will again enforce the requirement for employers to have on-file work permits for minor employees.
    • A: The state site says it is effective September 8th that employers have them on file. I told kids we would begin processing them September 1st and to have the employer contact me if that was an issue. Our registrar is just too busy to process those unnecessarily right now.
    • A: Please go to the link: for updated information regarding work permits.  They will be enforced again effective September 8.  We have started issuing them again with the start of school.
    • I also contacted DWD and the switchover to them is not until July 1, 2021
  • Q: How does a minor obtain a work permit? (Indiana)
    • A: Nearly all minors ages 14 through 17 who wish to work in Indiana are required to obtain a work permit. Work permits are obtained from the accredited high school in the school district where the minor resides. To obtain a work permit, a minor must first be hired by an employer. The employer must provide the accredited school with written notice that they intend to hire the minor, as well as the hours the minor will work and the types of duties the minor will perform. To streamline the process, the Indiana Department of Labor has developed the “Intent to Employ/A1” form which includes all of the information an employer will need to provide. The minor must then return the notice, in person, to the Issuing Officer at the accredited high school. The minor will also need to provide proof of age–traditionally by presenting a copy of his/her birth certificate. If the minor does not attend the accredited high school, the minor may be required to provide a letter from his/her school stating that the minor is in good academic and attendance standing. Once these documents are examined and found to be in good order, the minor should be issued a work permit. There is no cost associated with filing for or issuing a work permit. The work permit must remain on file at the site where the minor is working. Homeschool minors, out-of-state minors wanting to work in Indiana or minors attending a Career and Technical Education program are not required to obtain a work permit.
  • Some states such as Indiana require high school students with part-time jobs to maintain a certain grade point average. Minors who are working are usually restricted in the number of hours each day or week they are permitted to work as well as the types of jobs they may hold.
  • The Online Work Permit System is the tool used by accredited schools to issue work permits for minors in the State of Indiana.
  • Work permits may only be obtained through accredited schools and cannot be issued by employers, city offices or homeschooling parents.
  • If a minor attends a non-accredited school and is trying to obtain a work permit, he/she should follow the guidelines found in the DOL’s Frequently Asked Questions.



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