Applying for a Work Permit in the U.S.

In order to work in the United States, a person must provide evidence that they are eligible to work. If you are a U.S. Citizen then you only need proof of citizenship status in order to work. If you are a permanent resident then you can work with your Green Card. However for all other immigrants, an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), also known as a work permit is needed in order to work in the United States. The EAD normally expires after two years, but it is renewable.

The following categories of foreign workers are eligible to apply for an Employment Authorization Document:

  • Asylees and asylum seekers
  • Students seeking particular types of employment (OPT)
  • Foreign nationals in the United States pursuing the final stage of permanent residence
  • Individuals who have received Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
  • Fiancés and spouses of U.S. citizens
  • Other workers depending on circumstances.

There are also other beneficiaries who are eligible to work with an EAD.

How to Apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD)

If a person qualifies based on one of the categories listed above, they can complete an EAD application (Form I-765). This can be done with or without the assistance of an attorney. However many people seek the assistance of an attorney to avoid any problems or delays.

If your EAD is expiring you may file to renew it. This should be done several months before the expiration date. Similarly if you have lost, misplaced or have had your EAD stolen, you may file Form I-90 for a Replacement EAD card. If you receive an EAD card that contains a misspelling or error, this can also be corrected.