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What You Need to KnowAbout Employment Authorization Form I-765

The Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization Document (EAD), is a crucial step in the process of obtaining a U.S. work permit.

What Is the Form I-765?

Form I-765 is an application with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requesting employment authorization. The USCIS is a government agency that is part of the Department of Homeland Security in charge of lawful immigration to the U.S. If your application is approved, you will be issued an Employment Authorization Document.

When you receive your EAD, you are authorized to legally work in the United States. If you do not have this document prior to starting a job, you risk your immigration eligibility and may be deported for failing to follow the rules of employment.

Since working unlawfully in the USA is taken very seriously,  it is critical to request employment authorization documentation. With an EAD, you can avoid the complications from working illegally that could put your green card or visa application in jeopardy.

The good news is that this is quite a straightforward process. If you are applying for a green card or visa, Immigration Legal Preparation is well-equipped to help you obtain your employment authorization documentation.

Contact us today if you have any issues with your Form I-765 application. Our legal professionals help clients with their applications, providing services such as preparing the application, explaining form instructions, making a benefit request, and getting a fee waiver if one applies.

Are You Eligible for an EAD?

Not everyone qualifies for an EAD. You may apply for an EAD if one of the following general categories applies to you. Note that other requirements may apply that affect eligibility.

  1. Asylee/Refugee Categories (and their Spouses and Children)
  2. Nationality Categories
  3. Foreign Student Categories
  4. Categories for Eligible Dependents of Employees of Diplomatic Missions, International Organizations, or NATO
  5. Employment-Based Nonimmigrant Categories
  6. Family-Based Nonimmigrant Categories
  7. Adjustment of Status Categories
  8. Other Categories which apply to special cases (DACA, Legal Temporary Resident, N-8 or N-9 Nonimmigrant, other special cases and nonimmigrant categories)

Documentation Required for the I-765 Form

You may be required to have the following documents to make your application:

  1. Copy of your application
  2. Copy of passport pages that contain:
    • Most recent visa
    • Biographical information page
  3. Identical passport-style photographs in a sealed envelope or plastic bag
  4. Copy of I-94 that may be a printout or a card of your electronic I-94
  5. Other requirements may apply based on your category.

If you have an appointment with the USCIS for your employment authorization application, it’s a good idea to contact qualified immigration professionals to assist you.

Filling Form I-765 Instructions

Forms are constantly updated by USCIS. It is important to make sure you fill out the most current version of the form.

Since the required information also changes from time to time, it is important to note that you should also check the USCIS website for any updates. ven if you fill out everything correctly, the decision to approve or reject your application is ultimately up to the USCIS.

When making your application, you will need to follow the following steps:

  • Create a USCIS account or sign in if you already have one
  • Select the appropriate form I-765
  • Complete the form

This usually involves:

  1. Checking eligibility. Select the category that applies to you. If you are a foreign student, check your eligibility for current Post Completion OPT, PreCompletion OPT, or a STEM extension. Note that for STEM Extension, you will be required to provide information such as:
  • Your degree
  • Employer’s name on E-Verify
  • Employer’s E-Verify number
  1. Interpreter and preparer information
  2. Your legal names
  3. Contact information, including current mailing address and mobile phone number
  4. Marital status and gender
  5. Place and date of birth (may include furnishing the agency with a birth certificate).
  6. Immigration information that includes:
  • Country of nationality or citizenship
  • Form I-94 Arrival-Departure Record Number if applicable
  • Date of arrival in the United States
  • Passport number of your valid passport
  • Travel document number
  • Expiration date of your passport
  • Current eligibility category or immigration status
  • Previously used SEVIS numbers which you can find on the exchange visitor information system

Other information

Some of the supporting documentation and information that you may be asked for include:

  • Social Security number (SSN)
  • A-Number
  • USCIS Online Account Number

Once you have completed filling out the form, you may review and submit your application online.

To complete the form, you will be required to pay a filing fee of $410. This fee is set by the USCIS and may change at any time.

Collect and Scan Supporting Documents

You need to gather all the required documents in a folder in digital format and then upload them to the USCIS system. The files need to be readable and clear, be in English, and not password protected or encrypted. They should also be in the accepted TIFF, JPG, TIF, JPEG, or PDF format. Check the USCIS website for other requirements that may apply.

Contact us today for assistance on how to fill out your application for work authorization. Our document preparation professionals may provide services that include sourcing and submitting required documentation to support your application.

Filing I-765 Employment Authorization Document

The process of filing for your Employment Authorization documentation requires the correct filling of Form I-765, attaching required evidence of eligibility, and attending the biometrics appointment usually held at the USCIS office. (Note that you will be required to pay a biometric services fee).

It is critically important to follow the filing instructions when completing Form I-765. Under USCIS regulations, all I-765 applicants need to make their applications to the USCIS service center that they would prefer to process their application. 

Unlike previously, where you could send your application to one USCIS center and then have the application processed at a different center, this is no longer the case. 

If you are filing from a USCIS Lockbox facility, you can pay via credit card under the Authorization for Credit Card Transactions using form G-1450.

Filing can be a complicated endeavor, given that it includes critical documentation and information. Failure to file the documentation in the appropriate manner may result in the rejection of your application. 

Contact us today, and we may be able to help you with your application.


I-765 Processing Time

In general, it typically takes between 5 – 7 months for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to process applications under Form 1-765. Previously, the process would take the USCIS up to 90 days, but given that there has been a growing backlog only made worse by the pandemic, you could have additional delays.

Whether you previously had an EAD to work in the United States or are looking to get employment authorization for the first time, it is critical to work with reputable immigration professionals.

Immigration Legal Preparation has the necessary legal experience to help you with immigration issues. Contact us today for help with your application.

Get started by contacting our dedicated team today

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