Immigration Lawyer Chicago/ Immigration Forms: Where Do I Get Immigration Forms?/ Form I-765: Application for Employment Authorization: Who May File Form I-765?
Working in the United States is a huge step in your professional life. Through employment, you can support your family and yourself, and continue working towards your professional and personal goals. Having the ability to work legally in the United States is an opportunity to grow as a person, share skills you already have, and gain new skills through your work. While waiting for your green card application to be processed, you need what is called an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
Before we start detailing the process of filing your Form I-765, we want to stress the importance of legal work in the United States. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) takes legal work very seriously. If you work while your green card is still processing and have not filed a Form I-765 nor been approved for an EAD, you risk having your green card application denied.
Even if you have filed your green card application, it is still illegal to work in the U.S. until it is approved. You also need work authorization, meaning that even if you do have legal status in the U.S., your visa may not include permission to work. If you fall under either of these categories, you may be barred from entry into the United States for up to ten years—the amount of time is dependent on the length of your unauthorized work.
Thankfully, applying for an EAD is a relatively easy process. Your Form I-765 will be processed much sooner than your actual green card, so your ability to work can be expedited while you go through the long green card process.
Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, is a form submitted to USCIS to request an EAD. Its sole purpose is to ask USCIS for employment authorization, meaning you can legally seek out employment in the United States. Acceptance of Form I-765 will grant you an Employment Authorization Document.
An EAD—your Employment Authorization Document—is a physical document to prove to a potential U.S. employer that you have permission to work in the United States. EADs are required in order to work legally in the U.S.
Your United States employer needs to ensure that all of their employees are legally allowed to work in the U.S. Every U.S. employer needs to check employment authorization status regardless of an employee’s citizenship status or national origin.
To reiterate, you must file Form I-765 in order to request your EAD.
USCIS has three categories of eligibility for an Employment Authorization Document:
Typically, the following types of individuals apply for EADs:
Individuals with an immigration status that does allow work in the United States can file Form I-765 for an EAD that shows their unrestricted authorization to work.
There are groups of immigrants who do not need to apply for an employment authorization document because their green cards or nonimmigrant visas have automatic authorization.
No, you do not need to file Form I-765 if you are a lawful permanent resident (LPR). Your green card—or permanent residence card—provides employment authorization.
The following nonimmigrant visas already authorize you to work for a specific employer, thus you do not need to apply for an EAD:
If you have questions on who may file form I-765, we can help you figure out if you need an EAD.
In order to be granted an EAD, you will need to file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. If available for your position, you can file for your Form I-765 along with your Form I-485, Adjustment of Status, and your green card application. You can also submit your application after USCIS sends a receipt for your green card application.
Once you have filled out your Form I-765 in its entirety, you will either submit it online or file it at a direct filing location. The direct filing location will depend on your current immigration status and category.
Make sure you have these forms and documents to submit with your Form I-765:
You may also need to submit additional information based on your current status or immigration category. Take a look at the USCIS checklist to see other information to include.
The filing fee for the I-765 form is $410. You may also need to pay a biometrics fee of $85, totaling $495.
You need to pay the biometrics fee if you fall into one of these categories:
You may also be exempt from paying the filing fee if there is a work permit application in your green card application. This will most likely happen in your package for Adjustment of Status (AOS).
EAD processing time usually takes 90 days or more, so expect over three months. However, due to massive backlogs, your EAD approval may take between five to seven months. After approval, you should receive your physical EAD card in less than 30 days.
In order to renew your EAD, you can submit a new Form I-765 and a filing fee. You may also request a fee waiver if applicable. Typical renewal time is less than 180 days before your original EAD expires.
If you worked while in the United States without proper authorization, even if was just for a few hours, there is the chance that you will be prohibited from entering the United States. If you want to apply for a green card but are worried about past work that may influence your chances of green card acceptance, reach out to our experienced immigration lawyers at Scott D. Pollock & Associates PC. We review your case and see what options you may have.
Although it is relatively simple to apply for an EAD, having guidance from an immigration lawyer will only help your case. Based on our extensive experience with EADs, we can advise you on when you need to apply and how to properly fill out the application. Just one tiny mistake can cost you the entire process. Work with an immigration attorney to ensure that your application is filled out correctly and in a timely manner.
The attorneys at our immigration and nationality office have over 30 years of experience. We will be with you through the whole process of applying for your visa, filing Form I-765, and understanding the process of obtaining your EAD. We understand just how important having an EAD is for your life and family. We are here to help! Call us at 312.444.1940 or fill out our online contact form today.