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Application for Employment Authorization
Certain aliens noncitizens who are in the United States may file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, to request employment authorization and an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Other aliens noncitizens whose immigration status authorizes them to work in the United States without restrictions may also use Form I-765 to apply to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for an EAD that shows such authorization.
I-765, Application for Employment AuthorizationAlert: To improve efficiency and reduce Form I-765 processing times for Form I-485 applicants, USCIS may decouple Forms I-765 from Forms I-131 filed at the same time.Alert: As of April 1, 2022, we will no longer accept a single, combined fee payment for the filing of Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status; Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization; or Form I-824, Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition, together with a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker.Alert: USCIS Stops Applying Certain EAD Provisions for Asylum Applicants and No Longer Requires Biometric Services Fees from Asylum-Based EAD ApplicantsAlert Afghan Parolee: If you are an Afghan national paroled into the United States and you are applying for employment authorization, you will need a Social Security number (SSN) to work in the United States.Alert: We mistakenly rejected bona-fide-determination-related Forms I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, submitted without a fee or fee waiver from June 14 through Sept. 29, 2021. We may have accepted other Forms I-765 with an unnecessary fee.Alert: The settlement agreement in Vangala v. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, 4:20-cv-08143 (N.D. Cal.), provides that any filing fees, including those for accompanying requests (such as Form I-765), will be the fee that would have been required at the time of the Original Receipt Date, the date on which USCIS received a benefit request that was then rejected pursuant to the No Blank Space Rejection Policy.Alert: We are implementing the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland’s Sept. 11 preliminary injunction in Casa de Maryland Inc. et. al. v. Chad Wolf et. al.
Certain noncitizens who are in the United States may file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, to request an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Other noncitizens whose immigration status authorizes them to work in the United States without restrictions may also use Form I-765 to apply for an EAD that shows such authorization.
Update: Preliminary Injunction Impacting CASA and ASAP Members
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Form I-765, known as an Application for Employment Authorization (AED) or a Work Permit, can be filed after USCIS receives your application.
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Form I-765, Explained
How to obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
Form I-765, Explained How to obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) What is Form I-765?
If you plan on working while waiting for your green card approval, you’ll need to apply for a work permit by filing Form I-765 (officially called “Application for Employment Authorization”). With a permit (also called an Employment Authorization Document, or EAD), you can prove to prospective employers that you are indeed eligible to work.
(If you’re applying for a family-based green card from abroad, you can’t get a separate work permit ahead of time—your work authorization simply begins once you enter the United States and receive your green card.)Unless you have some other immigration status that allows you to work (e.g. H-1B), it’s important that you don’t do any kind of paid work until your work permit has arrived.
The good news is that getting a work permit is a relatively easy process, especially if you file the work permit application at the same time as the rest of your green card application.
In this guide, we’ll cover the process of filing Form I-765:
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In general, it takes about 150–210 days (5–7 months) for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to process Form I-765. Previously, USCIS processed work permit applications within 90 days, but a growing backlog has caused additional delays.
If you’re looking to apply for a work permit with Form I-765, but you’re not sure how to proceed, contact Boundless today. We can help point you in the right direction.
Typically, the filing fee for Form I-765 is $410, but the work permit cost depends on a number of factors. The fee could be more if you are required to submit biometrics with your application.
WHO NEEDS TO PAY A BIOMETRICS FEE?
The following filing categories need to pay an additional $85 biometrics fee, bringing the total for the work permit application to $495:
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
Principal Beneficiary of an Approved Employment-based Immigrant Petition Facing Compelling Circumstances
Spouse or Unmarried Child of a Principal Beneficiary of an Approved Employment-based Immigrant Petition
WHO IS EXEMPT FROM PAYING THE FILING FEE?
There is no fee for filing a work permit application if it is included in the same package as your Adjustment of Status (AOS) green card application (as long as your Form I-485 was filed after July 30, 2007).
The Form I-765 instructions has a full list of who else is exempt from paying the fee.
If you are unable to pay the filing fee, you may request a fee waiver by submitting Form I-912 (Request for Fee Waiver) with your Form I-765 and all supporting documentation.
If approved, both the filing fee and the biometrics fee will be waived, and you will pay $0.
According to USCIS, if you are eligible for a family-based green card, you are also eligible for a work permit. As long as you have a pending green card application (Form I-485), you may apply for the work permit. For more info, the Form I-765 instructions include a full list of all the I-765 eligibility categories.
How to Apply
You can file Form I-765 along with your green card application (Form I-485) or at any time after you’ve received a notice that USCIS has received your green card application. If you apply for a work permit in the same package with your green card application, you simply need to include a completed Form I-765 and two passport-sized photos.
Even if you’ve already submitted your green card application, you can still apply for a work permit by filing Form I-765 along with a copy of the notice from USCIS showing that your green card application (including the I-485 filing fee) was received.
Be sure to follow the direct filing instructions for Form I-765. USCIS requires that I-765 applicants file their application with the service center that will process their petition. Previously, applicants would send their application to one service center hub, which would then send their application to a different center for processing. Note: If you are filing the I-765 with another form, such as the I-485, file both forms at the address specified by the other form.
The following documents are needed to file Form I-765:
Copy of your I-94 travel record (front and back), if available, or a printout of your electronic I-94 obtained from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
Copy of your U.S. visa (a document placed in your passport)
Copy of your passport photo page
Copies of previous work permits (front and back), if any
Two 2-inch-by-2-inch passport-style photos of yourself taken recently (print your full name and Alien Registration Number on the back of each with a pencil or felt-tip pen)
Copy of receipt notice (official acknowledgment letter) from USCIS that your green card application (Form I-485) is pending, but only if:
What is USCIS Form I
This article explains Form I-765 and how it’s used, who can file it, how to complete it and what supporting documents to include, and how much it costs to file.
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What is Form I-765?ImmigrationHelp.org is a nonprofit that helps you prepare your immigration forms for free. Think TurboTax for Immigration. Get free immigration guides, news, and expert support without the high cost of an immigration lawyer. Featured in the Boston Globe, Forbes, and Telemundo, and funded by organizations like Harvard University. Check out our free tool.
Attorney Jonathan Petts
February 4, 2022
Form I-765 is one of the main forms for applying for a work permit. To receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), you need to file Form I-765 with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This article explains Form I-765, including what it is, how it’s used, who can file it, how to complete it, what supporting documents to include, and how much it costs.
Table of Contents What is Form I-765?
Who can file Form I-765?
How to complete Form I-765
How much does it cost to file Form I-765?
Do you need to include any supporting documents with Form I-765?
What is Form I-765?
Form I-765 is officially called the “Application for Employment Authorization.” U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) uses this form to collect information from people applying for work authorization to assess whether or not they are eligible for a work permit. You can’t receive a work permit (Employment Authorization Document or “EAD”) without filing Form I-765 with USCIS. Without work authorization, you can’t work for any employer in the United States. When USCIS processes and approves your Form I-765 application, they will issue you a card that you can use as evidence of your qualification to work for employers in the United States. You’ll also use Form I-765 to renew an expired EAD or to replace a missing or damaged EAD.
Who can file Form I-765?
Not everyone is eligible to file Form I-765. You can only file an I-765 application if you’re eligible to get a work permit in the United States. People who qualify for work permits include:
People with a pending adjustment of status application. If you’re applying for your green card through consular processing, you can’t apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). You’ll wait to receive your green card and use that to prove your eligibility to work in the United States.
F-1 students applying for post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) and STEM OPT extension.
People with a pending asylum application.
Dreamers requesting or renewing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
People applying for T-visa and U-visa status.
People applying for Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) long-term resident status.
How to complete Form I-765
Form I-765 is straightforward to complete as long as you follow the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) filing instructions. There are 6 parts to the form and each asks for different information.Part 1
This part of the form asks your reason for applying for a work permit - either for initial permission to work (a first-time card), to renew an old one, or to replace one you’ve lost.Part 2
Here, you’ll provide identifying biographical and other information about you, like your full name, your physical address and mailing address, and your gender. It will ask for your marital status, and your travel history information, including your I-94 number and when you reported to a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officer. It also asks for your date of birth, your immigration status, and your country of origin.
You’ll need your alien registration number (A-number), receipt number from relevant receipt notices and approval notices from USCIS, Social Security Number (SSN), and USCIS Online Account number, if you have one. If you don’t already have a Social Security Card, you can choose to register with the Social Security Administration on this part of the form.
You will also have to specify the eligibility category code for your application in this part of the form. For example, the eligibility code for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is (c) (33). USCIS provides a full list of codes for the different categories that you could enter onto the form.Part 3
Here, you will indicate whether you read and filled out the form on your own, or if you had help from an interpreter. Then you will sign and date the form in wet black ink (not blue). You have to use a pen for this - you can’t type it in.Part 4
If any interpreter helped with your application, they must sign and date this part of the form. They’ll also provide their name and contact details.Part 5
If somebody else prepared your forms on your behalf, they must sign and date this part of the form. If they have a business, they have to provide business information as well. If your interpreter was also your preparer then they will fill both Part 4 and Part 5 of the form. If a lawyer prepared your forms for you, they’ll have to submit a signed Form G-28 in addition to your I-765 package.Part 6
Part 6 provides extra space for you to include any additional information or expand on an answer you provided. If you need more than one page, you can make photocopies of Part 6 only and use them. You’ll have to write your Page Number, Part Number, and Item Number at the top of every extra page you use, and then sign and date each page.