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Working in the USA without a green card? Employment Authorization Document can be the solution

Expats/immigrants without a green card need an Employment Authorization Document to be able to work in the USA. The document is issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), but one must apply for it. It usually takes ca. 150 days to get it, sometimes more.

employment authorization card usa

1. What is the Employment Authorization Document (EAD)?

Expats/immigrants might raise their eyebrows as they’ve mainly heard about a green card that one needs to work in the US. It’s great to know that some of them could actually apply for the Employment Authorization Document, or card as many refer to it, before receiving their green card. With an (EAD), expats/immigrants can prove that they’re allowed to work in the US for a certain period of time, and it’s possible to renew it.

2. Who can apply for an EAD?

Whether you call it Employment Authorization Document or Employment Authorization Card, you can apply for it if you:

• are authorized to work in the US because of your immigration status (for example, you are an asylee, refugee, or U nonimmigrant) and need evidence of that employment authorization, or

• are required to apply for permission to work; in other words, you need to request employment authorization itself. For example:
– You have a pending Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.
– You have a pending Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal.
– 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 permission from USCIS (such as an F-1 or M-1 student).

employment authorization card usa

3. How to apply for an EAD?

You must file I-765 to request an EAD, and it costs $410. In some cases, you must also pay an $85 biometric service fee. It is actually advised to make sure you meet all the criteria before filing the I-765.

Then all sections must be completed. If the following data is missing, your request will be rejected:

• Part 1 – Reason for Applying (select only one box)
• Part 2 – Information About You
• Your Full Legal Name (Numbers 1.a. – 1.c.)
• Your U.S. Mailing Address (Numbers 5.a. – 5.f.)
• Date of Birth (Number 20.)
• Information About Your Eligibility Category (Number 27.)

These documents must be submitted:

• A copy of your Form I-94, Nonimmigrant Arrival-Departure Record (front and back), a printout of your electronic Form I-94, or your passport or another travel document

• A copy of your last EAD (if applicable)

• Two identical passport-style photographs

• Form G-28 (if you are represented by an attorney or accredited representative)

• If you were not previously issued an EAD, you must submit a copy of a government-issued identity document.

Here comes some information for expats/immigrants about where to file the I-765.

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employment authorization card usa

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Paulina Bajorowicz joined Appjobs in November 2018 and she is now the Content Marketing Specialist. She manages Appjobs blog and social media channels, coordinates outreach activities and cooperates with journalists and content creators around the gig economy.