If you are a foreign national who wants to work in the United States legally, it is crucial to process the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) to obtain a work permit. This article explains how the EAD works, who qualifies to apply, the cost of application, and what happens if you work without a permit.
How Does EAD Work Permit Work?
The Employment Authorization Document (EAD) serves as proof to employers that an individual is eligible to be hired to work in the US. The applicant must have the work permit card before starting employment, as explained by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website.
Who Can Apply for the EAD Work Permit?
Applicants should meet one of the following criteria:
- You are authorized to work in the United States based on immigration status or circumstances (e.g., you are an asylee, refugee, or U nonimmigrant) and need to provide proof of employment authorization; OR
- You need to apply for a work permit. For example: You have a Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) pending. You have a Form I-589 (application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal) pending. You have a nonimmigrant status that allows you to be in the United States but does not allow you to work in the United States without first seeking employment authorization from USCIS (such as a student on an F-1 or M-1 visa).
How Much Do I Have to Pay to Apply for the EAD Work Permit?
Applicants must pay the following fees:
- Filing fee: US$410, although some applicants may be exempted.
- Biometric services concept: $85.
To apply for the EAD work permit, applicants must submit an Application for Employment Authorization (Form 1-765).
- How to Submit the Form?
- Read the instructions for Form I-765.
- Complete and sign your Form I-765.
- Pay filing fees, if applicable.
- Provide all required supporting evidence and documentation.
Can I Work in the USA Without the EAD Permit Yet?
The EAD is one of the requirements that employers look for in job applicants, along with the Social Security number (SSN). To avoid setbacks, applicants must request both documents simultaneously. Having these documents shows that applicants can work in the United States and fill out the Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification.
Employers cannot hire job applicants without seeing their EAD, and working without a permit can have severe consequences, such as:
- three-to-ten-year ban on re-entry to the US
- Complications in processing a visa, change of immigration status, and other benefits.
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