How to Applying for an EAD Work Permit in the USA

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How to Legally Work in the United States as a Foreign Citizen

If you are a foreign citizen and want to work in the United States legally, it is essential that you process the Employment Authorization Document (Employment Authorization Document, EAD for its acronym in English). This document will serve as evidence that you have permission to work in the United States and not have any problems.

What is an Employment Authorization Document (EAD)?

The Employment Authorization Document (EAD), explains the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) page, shows employers that you can be hired to work in the US. You must have note that you must have your work permit card before beginning work.

Who Can Apply for an EAD Work Permit?

You will need to apply for an EAD if:

  • You are authorized to work in the United States based on immigration status or circumstances, (for example, you are an asylee, refugee, or U nonimmigrant) and you need to show your employment authorization;
  • You need to apply for a work permit, in other words, you need to apply for employment authorization. For example:
  • You have a Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) pending.
  • You have a Form I-589 (application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal) pending.
  • 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 employment authorization from USCIS (such as a student on an F-1 or M-1 visa).

Asylum holders qualify for a work permit (Photo: AFP)

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What is the Cost of an EAD Work Permit?

The following are the costs:

  • Filing fee: US$410, although in some cases payment may be exempted.
  • Concept of biometric services: US$85.

How to Apply for an EAD Work Permit?

To apply for your work permit card in the United States (EAD), you must submit an Employment Authorization Application (Form 1-765). Follow these steps:

  1. Read the instructions for Form I-765
  2. Complete and sign your Form I-765
  3. Pay filing fees, if applicable
  4. Provide all required supporting evidence and documentation.

Where Do I File My EAD Work Permit Application?

You can apply online here

How Long Does an EAD Work Permit Last?

Depending on which immigration category you qualify for, your work permit EAD will be valid for 1 or 2 years. The permit can be renewed, but it must be done 180 days before it expires.

How Do I Get My EAD Work Permit?

If the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approves your application, they can send you your EAD card by mail or, in some cases, you may need to obtain it in person. Find your nearest USCIS office here.

Who Does Not Need to Apply for an EAD?

You do not need to apply for an EAD in these cases:

  • If you are a lawful permanent resident. Your Green Card (Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card) evidences your employment authorization.
  • If you have a nonimmigrant visa that authorizes you to work for a specific employer (for example, if you have an H-1B, L-1B, O, or P).
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