- Employment Authorization Document
An Employment Authorization Document (EAD), EAD card, known popularly as "Work Permit", is a document issued by
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services(USCIS) that provides its holder a legal right to work in the United States of America. It should not be confused with the green card. EAD has fewer employment and immigration-related privileges than the green card.
Employment Authorization Document is issued for a specific period of time based on alien's immigration situation. Generally it is valid for one year and has to be renewed. If an alien possess a valid EAD, he or she is authorized to freely work in the United States without having their employer to file a "non-immigrant worker petition". Currently EAD is issued in the form of a standard credit card-size plastic card enhanced with multiple security features. EAD card contains some basic information about alien: name, birth date, sex, immigrant category, country of birth, photo, alien registration number (A number), card number, restrictive terms and conditions, and dates of validity.
Although foreign nationals with EAD can lawfully work in the United States for any employer, it is also possible for an alien to work for a specific US employer without EAD (examples are H-1B, L-1, or O-1 US visas).
Who can Apply
If you are not a US citizen or a lawful permanent resident, you may need to apply for an EAD to prove you may work in the United States. The specific categories that require an EAD include (but are not limited to) asylees and asylum seekers; refugees; students seeking particular types of employment; applicants to adjust to permanent residence status; people in or applying for temporary protected status; fiancés and spouses of American citizens; dependents of foreign government officials; J-2 spouse or minor child of an Exchange Visitor; spouse of an E-1/E-2 Treaty Trader or Investor and spouse of an L-1 Intra-company Transferee. USCIS issues EADs in the following categories:
• EAD: This document proves you are allowed to work in the United States.
• Renewal EAD: You cannot file more than 120 days before your original employment authorization expires.()
• Replacement EAD: This document replaces a lost, stolen, or mutilated EAD. A replacement EAD also replaces an EAD that was issued with incorrect information, such as a misspelled name.
• Application Form I-765 [ [http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=73ddd59cb7a5d010VgnVCM10000048f3d6a1RCRD&vgnextchannel=db029c7755cb9010VgnVCM10000045f3d6a1RCRD Immigration Forms] ] completed and signed.
• A copy of Form I-94 Departure Record (front and back), if available.
• A copy of your last EAD (front and back). If no prior EAD has been issued, submit a copy of a federal government issued identity document, such as a passport showing your picture, name, and date of birth; a birth certificate with photo ID; a visa issued by a foreign consulate; or a National ID document with photo and/or fingerprint. The identity document photocopy must clearly show the facial features of the applicant and the biographical information.
• Two identical color photographs taken within 30 days of the filing of the application. The passport-style photos must be 2" x 2."
How to Apply
You must file Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization) by mail with the USCIS Regional Service Center that serves the area where you live. You may also be eligible to file Form I-765 electronically [ [http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.eb1d4c2a3e5b9ac89243c6a7543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=9059d9808bcbd010VgnVCM100000d1f1d6a1RCRD&vgnextchannel=9059d9808bcbd010VgnVCM100000d1f1d6a1RCRD USCIS Electronic Filing] ] .
An Interim EAD is an EAD issued to an eligible applicant when USCIS has failed to adjudicate an application within 90 days of receipt of a properly filed EAD application or within 30 days of a properly filed initial EAD application based on an asylum application filed on or after January 4, 1995. The interim EAD will be granted for a period not to exceed 240 days and is subject to the conditions noted on the document.
An interim EAD is no longer issued by local service centers. One can however take an infopass appointment and place a service request at local centers, explicitly asking for it if the application exceeds 90 days without an adjudication.
* [http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.eb1d4c2a3e5b9ac89243c6a7543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=1847c9ee2f82b010VgnVCM10000045f3d6a1RCRD&vgnextchannel=1847c9ee2f82b010VgnVCM10000045f3d6a1RCRD USCIS. Services & Benefits. Employment Authorization]
* [http://www.ilw.com/immigdaily/news/i-766.jpgThis is a void example of what the new EAD cards look like.]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.