Employment Authorization Card

An Employment Authorization Document card (EAD) is a temporary permit that allows foreign nationals to lawfully enter and work in the United States. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issues EADs to individuals who are permitted to work in the U.S. Citizens, permanent residents, and conditional permanent residents are not required to apply for EADs; their status automatically grants them the right to work in the United States. 

EAD Eligibility Categories

Individuals in a variety of different situations can apply for an EAD card. These categories include: ­­

  • Applicants pursuing permanent resident status
  • Asylum seekers and asylees
  • Dependents of foreign government officials
  • Fiancées of United States citizens
  • Refugees
  • Spouses of United States citizens
  • Students seeking specific types of work
  • Those applying for temporary protected status

One important note: certain individuals who are authorized to work for a certain employer are not required to apply for an EAD. Their passport and Form I-94 (Arrival-Departure Record) are evidence of their permission to work in the United States. Your Philadelphia immigration lawyer can determine if you or your loved one is eligible to apply for an EAD.

The EAD Application Process

To begin the EAD application process, you first need to complete Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization) which is available for download on the USCIS website. This form, along with a filing fee and fingerprinting charge, is submitted by mail to the USCIS Regional Office that serves your community. Refugees, asylum seekers, trafficking victims, and immigrants in some other categories are exempt from paying this application fee.

If your application has been denied, you can petition the office to open or reopen a motion to reconsider their decision. Your motion to appeal should include documentary evidence to show how the denial may have been made in error. If after 90 days, you have not received a decision on your application, you can request an interim EAD at your local USCIS office.

The length of time your EAD card is valid depends upon your status and how long you are permitted to remain in the United States. In most cases, you can apply to renew your EAD card within 90 days before the time it is scheduled to expire. Generally, you are not allowed to work while your renewal application is pending. Once your EAD expires, you may no longer be allowed to work in the country.

Surin & Griffin, P.C.: Philadelphia Immigration Advice for Those Seeking to Work in the United States

To determine if you or your family member is eligible to apply for an Employment Authorization Card, schedule an appointment with a multilingual attorney at Surin & Griffin, P.C. Our qualified Philadelphia immigration attorneys help clients resolve their immigration matters while protecting their rights.

As a valued client of Surin & Griffin, P.C. you can feel confident you are receiving smart and effective Philadelphia immigration advice for your situation. We are here to guide you through every step in the EAD card application or appeal process. To get started, call 215-925-4435 or contact us online to schedule an appointment. We have offices in Philadelphia to serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and nationwide.