About our services: Employment Authorization
Employment Authorization -- working legally
What is 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. If you are not a citizen or a lawful permanent resident (immigrant), you may need to apply for a work permit, formally called an "Employment Authorization Document" (EAD), to prove you may work in the United States.
USCIS issues Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) in the following categories:
- EAD: This document proves you are allowed to work in the United States.
- Renewal EAD: You should apply for a renewal EAD six months before your original EAD 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.
- Interim EAD: If USCIS does not approve or deny your EAD application within 90 days (within 30 days for an asylum applicant), you may request an interim EAD document.
Do I Need One?
- The specific categories that require an Employment Authorization Document 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; fiances of American citizens; and dependents of foreign government officials.
- See USCIS Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization) for a complete list of the categories of people who must apply for an Employment Authorization Document to be able to work in the United States.
- If you are a U.S. citizen, you do not need an Employment Authorization Document.
- If you are a legal permanent resident or a conditional permanent resident, you do not need an Employment Authorization Document. Your Permanent Resident Card ("Green Card") proves that you may work in the United States.
- If you are authorized to work for a specific employer, you do not need an Employment Authorization Document. Your passport and your USCIS Form I-94 (Arrival-Departure Record) prove that you may work in the United States.
ApplyYou must file USCIS Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization) by mail with the USCIS Service Center that serves the area where you live. Read the entire application carefully and submit the correct documents, photos, and fee. Forms are available online, or by calling 1-800-870-3676, or by submitting an online request to receive forms by mail.
If USCIS does not approve or deny your Employment Authorization Document application within 90 days (within 30 days for an asylum applicant), you may request an interim Employment Authorization Document. You must go to your local USCIS District office and bring with you proof of your identity and any documents that USCIS has sent you about your employment authorization application.