Apply for your Employment Authorization Document (EAD). This document confers the right to work in the United States for a certain period of time.

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The EAD, as pictured below, is also known as an employment authorization card or work permit – physical proof of employment authorization. Generally, an employer will want to see the card before an employee can begin work. You can use Form I-765 to request an initial, replacement, or renewal EAD.


Eligibility for Employment Authorization

Use Form I-765 to apply for EAD. Form I-765 is the appropriate USCIS form to submit when applying for your EAD. It is necessary to have an EAD if:

Your asylee, refugee, or U nonimmigrant status allows you to work in the U.S. but does not provide proof, or
Your status requires you to apply for authorization to work, such as:

  • Persons with a pending Form I-485,
  • Persons with a pending Form I-589, or
  • Persons who have a nonimmigrant status that allows them to be in the United States but requires them to seek authorization to work, including F-1 and M-1 students.

If you are a lawful permanent resident, conditional permanent resident, or a nonimmigrant authorized to be employed with a specific employer under 8 CFR 274a.12(b). You are already authorized to work in the U.S. 

Typically work permits are valid for one year and for some categories may be valid longer. You can file for renewal if your Employment Authorization Document is expired or will expire in the next 120 days.

Other categories may be eligible to apply for employment authorization using Form I-765. The categories complete the list of eligibility below:

(c)(9) – Adjustment Applicant
(c)(16) – Adjustment Applicant Based on Continuous Residence Since January 1, 1972
Renewal EAD for National Interest Waiver Physicians

(c)(14) – Deferred Action
(c)(33) – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

(a)(5) – Asylee (Granted Asylum))
(c)(8) – Asylum Applicant (with a pending asylum application)Who Filed for Asylum on or After January 4, 1995)
(a)(4) – Paroled as a Refugee
(a)(3) – Refugee

(c)(1) – Dependent of A-1 or A-2 Foreign Government Officials
(c)(4) – Dependent of G-1, G-3 or G-4 Nonimmigrant
(c)(7) – Dependent of NATO-1 Through NATO-6

(c)(17)(ii) – B-1 Nonimmigrant Domestic Servant of a U.S. Citizen
(c)(17)(iii) – B-1 Nonimmigrant Employed by a Foreign Airline
(c)(17)(i) – B-1 Nonimmigrant Who Is the Personal or Domestic Servant of a Nonimmigrant Employer
(a)(17) – Spouse of an E-1/E-2 Treaty Trader or Investor
(c)(12) – Spouse of an E-2 CNMI Investor
(a)(18) – Spouse of an L-1 Intracompany Transferee
(c)(26) – H-4 Spouse of an H-1B Nonimmigrant

(a)(6) – K-1 Nonimmigrant Fiancé(e) of U.S. Citizen or K-2 Dependent
(a)(9) – K-3 Nonimmigrant Spouse of U.S. Citizen or K-4 Dependent
(a)(13) – Family Unity Program
(a)(14) – LIFE Family Unity
(a)(15) – V-1, V-2 or V-3 Nonimmigrant

(c)(2)(a) – F-1 Student Seeking Pre-completion Optional Practical Training
(c)(3)(B) – F-1 Student Seeking Post-completion Optional Practical Training
(c)(3)(C) – F-1 Student Seeking 17-month Extension for STEM Students
(c)(3)(ii) – F-1 Student Offered Off-Campus Employment by Qualifying Organization
(c)(3)(iii) – F-1 Student Seeking Off-Campus Employment Due to Economic Hardship
(c)(5) – J-2 Spouse or Minor Child of an Exchange Visitor
(c)(6) – M-1 Student Seeking Practical Training After Completing Studies

(a)(8) – Citizen of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, or Palau
(a)(11) – Deferred Enforced Departure (DED)/Extended Voluntary Departure
(a)(12) – Temporary Protected Status (TPS) under 8CFR 244
(c)(19) – Temporary Protected Status (TPS) under 8CFR 244.5
(c)(10) – NACARA Section 203 Applicants Who Are Eligible to Apply for NACARA Relief With USCIS
(c)(2) – Dependent of TECRO E-1 Nonimmigrant

(a)(7) – N-8 or N-9 Nonimmigrant
(a)(10) – Granted Withholding of Deportation or Removal
(c)(10) – Applicant for Suspension of Deportation
(c)(11) – Paroled in the Public Interest
(c)(18) – Final Order of Deportation
(c)(24) – LIFE Legalization Applicant
(a)(16) – T-1 Nonimmigrant
(c)(25) – T-2, T-3 or T-4 Nonimmigrant
(a)(19) – U-1 Nonimmigrant
(a)(20) – U-2, U-3, U-4 or U-5
(c)(31) – VAWA Self-Petitioners

Renewal EAD

If you are still eligible for employment authorization but your EAD will be expiring or has expired, you should file for a renewal EAD by submitting a new Form I-765 and filing fee (if required), unless a fee waiver is requested and approved. Generally, you should not file for a renewal EAD more than 180 days before your original EAD expires.

 Call today for a free consultation

The application process for obtaining a U.S. work permit (also called an employment authorization document or EAD) is fairly straightforward. But sometimes we see more than just filling out the form, so the best chance of success comes by working with an experienced immigration attorney.  We are highly experienced in immigration law. Our attorneys, translators, and support staff will work with you individually to give you the best chance of success possible. 

Your citizenship or your residency status is something you should entrust to a professional. Call the top New York Immigration Attorneys toll-free at 1-888-ZONTLAW / 1-888-966-8529.

Can I work if my EAD renewal is in process?

You will not be eligible to work when an EAD application is pending with USCIS.

Do I need an employment authorization card?

If you are lawful permanent resident (green card holder) or a conditional resident, you do NOT require EAD to work in the US.

Can I get a Social Security number with an employment authorization card?

If USCIS approves your application, you will receive two documents by mail:

1. Employment Authorization Document (EAD), also known as the “I-766 card” or “work permit”, and

2. SSN card.

When I can I get a work permit, if i apply for asylum?

Once 150 days have passed and you have applied, the government has 30 days to give you (or deny) your EAD. If you was granted asylum status, you not only gain the right to work in the U.S., but don’t need to apply for an EAD with which to do so.

Contact Attorney Igor Litvak

    Becoming a US citizen entails specific rights, duties and following benefits: consular protection outside the United States; ability to sponsor relatives living abroad; ability to invest in US. real property without triggering additional taxes; transmitting US citizenship to children; protection from deportation and others. U.S. law permits multiple citizenship. A citizen of another country naturalized as a U.S. citizen may retain his previous citizenship


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