Many people call it Work Permit, but it is also called Employment Authorization Document. This article below will give you an insight into who can apply for a work permit.

U.S. employers must check to make sure all employees, regardless of citizenship or national origin, are allowed to work in the United States. Having an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is one way to prove that you are allowed to work in the United States for a specific time period.

To request an EAD, you must file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. You will need to apply for an EAD if you:

  • Are authorized to work in the United States because of your immigration status (for example, you are an asylee, refugee, or U nonimmigrant) and need evidence of that employment authorization, or
  • Are required to apply for permission to work; in other words, you need to request employment authorization itself. For example:
    • You have a pending Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.
    • You have a pending Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal.
    • You have a nonimmigrant status that allows you to be in the United States but does not allow you to work in the United States without first seeking permission from USCIS (such as an F-1 or M-1 student).

You do not need to apply for an EAD if you are a lawful permanent resident. Your Green Card (Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card) is evidence of your employment authorization. You also do not need to apply for an EAD if you have a nonimmigrant visa that authorizes you to work for a specific employer (for example, you have an H-1B, L-1B, O, or P visa).

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.

Replacement EAD          

If Your EAD Is Lost, Stolen or Destroyed

If your EAD is lost, stolen or destroyed, you may request a replacement EAD by filing a new Form I-765 and filing fee (if required), unless a fee waiver is requested and approved.  If you did not receive an EAD that USCIS mailed, you can submit an inquiry on non-delivery of a card.

If Your EAD Contains Incorrect Information

If your EAD contains incorrect information that is not due to a USCIS error, you must submit:

  • A new Form I-765,
  • The filing fee, if required (or a request for a fee waiver),
  • Any documents specified in the form instructions, and
  • The card containing the error.

If your EAD contains incorrect information because of a USCIS error, we will make the appropriate correction at no additional cost to you. In these cases, you do not need to submit a new Form I-765 or a filing fee. Instead, you must submit:

  • The original card containing the error,
  • A detailed explanation of the card error, and
  • Supporting documentation on the correct information.

Submit this information to the service center or National Benefit Center that approved your latest Form I-765.

In either case, if we receive your application or request for a replacement EAD and you no longer have any basis for applying for an EAD or employment authorization, we will not return the card and will notify you that you do not have a current basis for applying for an work permit or employment authorization.

Please note, dependents of certain foreign governments, international organizations, and NATO personnel are not required to pay a fee for a replacement EAD.

Note: If you have questions regarding a pending application for a work permit or employment authorization, please see our website for information on when and how to contact us.

Eligibility Categories for the Form I-765

Please see the Form I-765 instructions for a complete list of eligibility categories.  You may also find eligibility categories in section 274a.12, title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

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