Applying for Employment Authorization

A person temporarily in the United States can apply for employment authorization by filing a Form I-765 or can request an Employment Authorization Document from the prospective employer. Any non-U.S. citizen that wishes to work within the United States has to be authorized for employment and must receive the work visa that pertains to them describing the work they will be performing. The form mentioned above is 13 pages long, 12 of them are for the instructions, and only one of the forms is to actually fill out. The fee for filing the Form I-765 is $340, but if you fall into one or more of the following categories you do not need to pay the filing fee as defined by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service:

No Fees for an Initial EAD if you are:

  • Refugee, asylee or paroled as a refugee;
  • N-8 or N-9 Nonimmigrant;
  • Citizen of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, or Palau;
  • Granted Withholding of Deportation;
  • Deferred Enforced Departure;
  • Dependent of certain foreign government or international organization personnel; or,
  • Applicant for asylum (applicant filing under special ABC procedures must pay the fee however).

No Fees for a Renewal EAD if you are:

  • Citizen of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, or Palau;
  • Granted Withholding of Deportation;
  • Deferred Enforced Departure; or,
  • Dependent of certain foreign government or international organization personnel.

An Employment Authorization Document is also referred to as a work permit and the document is issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and the permit provides the holder to legally work in the United States. This document should never be confused with or mistaken for the green card because it has fewer employment and immigration related privileges than the green card.

Forms Required To Apply for an Employment Authorization:

  • Application Form I-765 completed and signed.
  • A copy of Form I-94 Departure Record, if available.
  • A copy of your last EAD. 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.
  • Two identical color photographs taken within 30 days of the filing of the application.

All of these forms and information must be filed with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services via mail at the local Regional Service Center of the USCIS that serves the area where the applicant resides. The person applying for employment authorization can apply for authorization more than once but will have to pay the filing fee every time they apply unless they fall into one of the categories listed above.

If you need more information, consult with an Immigration Attorney, they will be able to walk you through the entire process and answer all your questions.

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