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About Employment Authorization

Immigrants who don’t have any permanent resident card but intent to work in the United States while waiting for green card approval will need to file Form I-765; Application for Employment Authorization, to get Employment Authorization Document (I-766)

Since the U.S employers are bound to check for immigration status every time before hiring a new worker, an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) proves that the EAD holder is legally eligible to work in the United States. Hence an immigrant must have an Employment Authorization Document to lawfully work in the United States until he/she gets a green card.

This document or card should be renewed every year or every two years when the candidate has a pending green card application.

Eligibility to Apply for Employment Authorization’

To be eligible for Employment Authorization, an immigrant must meet some criteria.

An employment authorization document seeker must fall under at least one of the following categories to be eligible.

  1. Permanent resident applicants who have filed for adjustment of status or have a green card application in process
  2. Granted, asylees or refugees and their spouses and children
  3. Employment-based non-immigrant visa holders (such as spouses of L-1, E1, E2, or H-1B visa holders)
  4. Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and Palau citizens
  5. International students (such as F-1 visa or M-1 visa students)
  6. Family-based nonimmigrant visa holders (such as K-1 fiancé visa, or K-3 visa)
  7. Dependents who qualify for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Required Documents to Apply for Employment Authorization

Below is a list of the documents that an Employment Authorization applicant must submit with I-765 to file the application accurately

  1. Double-sided copy of Form I-94 Travel Record
  2. Copy of applicant’s U.S. visa
  3. Copy of passport bio page of the applicant
  4. Proof of previous work permits (if any)
  5. Two recently taken passport-size photos of the applicant (with the applicant’s full name and Alien Registration Number on the back)
  6. ’Copy of official acknowledgment letter from USCIS stating that applicant’s permanent residency application (Form I-485) is pending.’
  7. Birth certificate or govt-issued national identity document with photo or fingerprint (if the applicant has not previously been issued a work permit

See the complete checklist here from the USCIS to know the required documents for the visa type you’re applying for.

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Note that: The price mentioned above does not include the standard government fees paid directly to USCIS.

Frequently Asked Questions

Employment Authorization Document is a plastic card with the alien’s photo, identification number and the permit’s expiration date on it

Yes. F-1 students are eligible to apply for EAD.

USCIS usually takes about 5 months to process Form I-765.

Filing fees for Application for Employment Authorization are as follows:

  1. FileMyVisa’s application preparation fee is $51.
  2. The USCIS filing fee is $410’
  3. ’USCIS biometric fee is $85 (if required)

’An EAD is valid usually for 1 year. When it’s close to expiring, you must file a renewal application within 180 days of it expiry.’

You must file Form I-765 by mail with the USCIS Service Center or District Office that dedicatedly serves the area of your residence.’

You may request an interim Employment Authorization Document.’

You can get an update on your EAD application from the USCIS office that received your application.

You can request a replacement EAD, which will replace the lost or destroyed EAD.

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