Employment Authorization Document (EAD):

EAD is the document issued to all eligible visa holders (i.e. H4, L2 etc.) by USCIS to work legally in United States.

Qualifying EAD Categories:

  • Asylee/Refugee, their spouses, and their children.
  • Citizens or nationals of countries falling in certain categories
  • Active F-1 holder who wishes to pursue OPT or STEM
  • Active M-1 holder who wish to pursue practical training which is directly related to the students' vocational training.
  • J-1 exchange visa holders
  • Spouse of exchange visitors with certain regulations

For obtaining EAD you must file Form I-765 application for Employment authorization

Applying for EAD:

  • Copy of your current passport
  • Copy of the USCIS Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Document issued to you when you entered the U.S.
  • Copy of the receipt notice or other evidence that your application for Green Card is pending with the USCIS
  • Copies of documents which indicate your current status
  • If you are in F1 or M1 status, copies of all your I-20s showing the international student adviser’s recommendation for practical training. Also include a copy of the Form I-538, endorsed by the international student adviser.
  • If you are applying for Employment Authorization as a spouse of a J1 exchange visitor, proof of marriage, copy of your spouse’s Form DS-2019, Form I-94 and a written statement that your income will not be used to support the J1 exchange visitor
  • If you have applied for adjustment of status, a copy of the receipt notice or other evidence that your adjustment of status application is pending.
  • If you are an A, G or NATO dependent, include USCIS Form I-566, Interagency Record of individual Requesting Change/Adjustment to or from A or G Status.
  • If you are a K1 fiancé, file your application within 90 days from the date of entry. Include evidence of your K1 visa and copies of your passport

You do not need to apply for an EAD if you are a lawful permanent resident (Green card) or having a nonimmigrant visa that authorizes you to work for a specific employer (H-1B, L-1B, O, or P visa).