As a foreign national, you must have the authorization to work in the US. Known as the Employment Authorization Document, this permit arrives at your doorstep in the form of a small card. It legally allows you to work within the country for a specific period of time.
Although, there are nonimmigrant visas, such as the H-1B or L-1, which are considered authorization within themselves, so if you have one, you won’t need an EAD.
Why do you need one? Because without, you’ll be violating the labor law. Thus, you – and the organization you work for – can be liable for punitive action. You may apply for your EAD at any time after you receive the USCIS notification that they have your green card application. Alternatively, you can also include it in the same package as your green card application.
Who Is Eligible for an EAD?
An EAD Card is possible for the following people:
- Your pending nonimmigrant status makes an EAD necessary
- Since you’re a nonimmigrant, an EAD is necessary to work for a specific employer
- You’re an asylum seeker/refugee within their US – or the spouse/dependent of one
- You’re an F/M-1 student – there are certain other requirements in this case
- You came to the US as the spouse of an exchange visitor
- Your work relates to international organizations, like NATO
- Your nonimmigrant visa comes with a family-based status like the K visa
Who Does Not Need an EAD to Work in the US?
You wouldn’t require an Employment Authorization Card if you belong to one of the following groups of people within the US:
- Green card holders, citizens, or permanent residents
- L-1, H (not H-4), P, Q-1 visa holders working for the employer petitioning on your behalf
- J-1 visa holders who work for their sponsoring organization
- O visa holders
- E, C, A, G, I visa holders who work for a qualifying/foreign company or foreign government entity
- F-1 visa holders who satisfy conditions, such as on-campus part-time employment or full-time when school’s off, part-time attested off-campus jobs, or are part of CPT programs
Consequences of Working without an EAD
Aside from knowing What is EAD Card, you should also have knowledge about the consequences of working without one. You risk your green card application when you attempt this because the USCIS will put your case under close scrutiny. Moreover, you can receive a ban extending to three -ten years for this. Even working on a tourist visa can make ineligible for a student visa later. Whether it is a short-term or informal job that lasts for just a few hours, the lack of authorization may lead to serious immigration problems for you in the future.
What Does it Cost?
Your EAD application fee will consist of $410 filing and $85 biometric fees. You can submit it via check, money order, debit, or credit cards.
How to Apply for an EAD
For the EAD Application process to start, you fill out Form I-765 and attach the following supporting documentation:
- Copy of government-issued ID – such as passport — and Form I-94
- Identical photos – passport-style and two in number
- Fee receipts
Submit it via mail or online. The USCIS will certainly notify you when they receive it and if they require additional documents.
Employment Authorization Processing Time
The process of getting your Work Authorization Card can take up from 150 to 210 days. Within that time, you will receive USCIS’s notification stating if your EAD application got their approval or not. They also attach reasons for the denial. In case of an approval, your laminated ID will reach you via mail.
Reasons Your Work Permit Application Might Get Denied
There are instances when applicants are denied a Work Authorization Status. One of the reasons that lead to rejection is due to an incorrectly or incompletely filled out I-765. So, check that you don’t forget to sign or include everything with it before you send it in. Rarely, though, if your green card is approved before your work permit application can be processed, you won’t need an EAD, so the USCIS rejects the application.
How Long is an EAD Valid For?
The EAD validity will depend on your eligibility category and usually takes its cues from the validity of your visa. Generally, though, your card will function for a year. At the end of this period, the USCIS may allow renewal, but again, the numbers of extensions will depend on your visa type. Just make sure you file for renewal 180 days of the expiration date of the current one.
Renewing Your EAD
Renewing your Work Authorization Form will require resending the I-765 Form, along with the filing fee — $410 – and biometric fee –$85. Along with it, also submit a copy of your old EAD.
What to Do after Receiving an Employment Authorization
For people who haven’t worked in US before they receive this EAD, they must get a Social Security Number or SSN. Try doing that as soon as you have your EAD in hand. Before, you had to visit the local Social Security Administration office and fill out the application to get the SSN. For that, you also needed to show your passport and EAD. Then the office would mail your Social Security card to you to the address you fill in the application form. However, in 2017, USCIS’s new Form I-765 lets you apply for an SSN through the EAD application itself.
On your first day, you must fill an I-9 form and show your SSN and EAD to your employer.
Contact Attorney Eric Price Today!
Indeed, the EAD application process isn’t as convoluted as that for other visas and permits. Even so, if you contact LA’s best immigration lawyer, you can prevent delays from happening. Small mistakes, like forgetting to sign the I-765, could mean you may miss out on a great employment opportunity. Hence, don’t risk your EAD approval and get help!