Employment Authorization (Work Visas)
USCIS issues Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) in the following categories:
- EAD: This document proves you are allowed to work in the United States.
- Renewal EAD: You cannot file more than 120 days before your original employment authorization expires.
- Replacement EAD: This document replaces a lost, stolen, or mutilated EAD. A replacement EAD also replaces an EAD that was issued with incorrect information, such as a misspelled name.
The Immigration and Nationality Act is a law that governs the admission of all persons to the United States. For the part of the law about Employment Authorization Documents, please see INA § 274A. The Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] discusses the employment authorization responsibilities of both employers and employees at 8 CFR § 274a.
Who is Eligible?
The specific categories that require an Employment Authorization Document include (but are not limited to):
(Please see Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization) for a complete list of the categories of people who must apply for an Employment Authorization Document to be able to work in the United States)
If you are a U.S. citizen, you do not need an Employment Authorization Document.
If you are a lawful permanent resident or a conditional permanent resident, you do not need an Employment Authorization Document. Your Alien Registration Card proves that you may work in the United States.
If you are authorized to work for a specific employer, such as a foreign government, you do not need an Employment Authorization Document. Your passport and your Form I-94 (Arrival-Departure Record) proves that you may work in the United States. Please see 8 CFR 274a.12(b), which provides a full list of the categories of people who do not need to apply for an EAD.
You may be eligible to file Form I-765 electronically. The procedures for forms electronically filed with USCIS are different than described in the following paragraphs. If you are not eligible for electronic filing,you must file an Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization) by mail with the USCIS Regional Service Center that serves the area where you live.