Four Things You Should Know About Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
As certain foreigners, you will have to get employment authorization to work in the United States legally. An Employment Authorization Document, aka EAD card, is what you need. To be specific, you need to file the Form I-765 with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
The reason for applying
The EAD is the card issued as evidence that the holder is authorized to work in the United States. There are three reasons of applying:
|Initial EAD: Issued to an eligible applicant for the first time under a specific eligibility category.|
|Renewal EAD: Issued to an eligible applicant after the expiration of a previous EAD issued under the same category.|
|Replacement EAD: Issued to an eligible applicant when the previously issued EAD was lost, stolen, damaged, or contains errors, such as a misspelled name.|
When you are choosing among these options, be careful with initial permission and renewal of permission. Because even if you had an EAD card before, it doesn’t mean that you should always check the renewal box when you re-apply for it. You should ask an attorney for more details if you are planning to apply for a work permit.
Apply for SSN (Social Security Number) while applying for work permit
If you currently reside in the United States and plan to apply for work authorization from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), you will also need a Social Security Number (SSN) to allow employers to report your earnings to the U.S. government.
If you are a nonimmigrant, you can apply for SSN in two ways, depending on your visa status:
|If you are lawfully present in the United States and plan to apply for work authorization, you can apply for your SSN on the same USCIS application Form I-765;|
|If you are lawfully present in the United States and your visa status allows you to work, then you must visit a social security office in person to apply.|
To save you a trip to the Social Security Office you can apply for SSN on the same application form you will use to apply for permission to work legally in the United States. That application is the USCIS Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. If USCIS approves your application to work in the U.S. and you completed the section on the application to request an SSN card, then USCIS will send Social Security Administration (SSA) the data needed to issue your SSN card. If you already have an SSN and you requested an SSN card on the I-765 application, a replacement SSN card will be issued.
By following the specific instructions, foreigners may apply for an SSN and work permit by filing Form I-765. Ask your attorney if you wish to get SSN, because your attorney may need additional information of you to achieve this goal.
Evidence to apply for EAD
Filing Form I-765 is not the only thing you need to prepare for the application. Evidence is also very important when it comes to preparing the application. If you fail to submit required evidence, USCIS may reject or deny your application for failure to submit requested evidence or supporting documents in accordance with 8 CFR 103.2(b)(1) and these Instructions.
At the time of filing, you must submit all evidence and supporting documents. If you do not have and cannot get a required document, you must demonstrate this and provide secondary evidence. If secondary evidence does not exist or is unavailable, you must demonstrate both the unavailability of the required document and the relevant secondary evidence and submit two or more sworn affidavits by people not named on this application who have direct knowledge of the event and circumstances.
Be sure to check with your attorney if you are preparing for the evidence because there are special requirements for each category.
EAD Filling fee
Each application must be accompanied by the appropriate filing fee. The filing fee for Form I-765 is $410. However, there are special instructions for different applicants. Some categories must also pay the biometric services fee of $85, and some categories may not require paying any filling fee.
Make sure to discuss with your attorney for the correct filling fee, because the filing fee is not refundable, regardless of any action USCIS takes on this application.
Disclaimer: The article contains general information and does not include legal advice on a particular case.
Xili Zou, Licensed Attorney, ACS Law Offices, Inc.