Employment Authorization Document Form I-765

With our Form Navigator™ we guide you step-by-step through this process, ensure you meet the eligibility requirements and complete your Form I-765 accurately.

I-765 EAD Card

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Form I-765

Form I-765 is the Application for Employment Authorization Document. If your visa allows you to work in the United States, you may use this form to request authorization to work and obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). If your visa authorizes you to work without restrictions, such as an H1-B or H-2B work visa, then you must file this form to obtain an EAD.

You may also file Form I-765 to renew your EAD or to obtain a replacement EAD.

EAD, Employment Authorization Document

An Employment Authorization Document is known commonly as a work permit. EADs are generally granted for a period of 1 year subject to renewal.

It is required of U.S. employers to ensure that all their employees are legally allowed to work in the United States. Unless you are a U.S. citizen or a green card holder (permanent resident), you need authorization to work in the United States. An EAD shows your employer that you have this authorization.

Employment for Deferred Action

On August 15th, 2012, the Obama administration put into action a policy called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. This policy allows undocumented youth living in the United States a period of reprieve from deportation as well as the ability to obtain a 2 year work permit. Eligible candidates for Deferred Action should use Form I-765 to obtain an EAD. They should file Form I-765 under category (c)(14). Deferred Action applicants must also file Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and Form I-765WS, Worksheet.

How to Get your Employment Authorization Document

You may be eligible to obtain employment authorization in the United States if you fit into one of the 3 eligibility categories:

  1. Your nonimmigrant status allows you to work in the United States:
    • Deferred Action
    • Citizen of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, or Palau
    • E-2 Visa, Treaty Traders or Investors
    • H1-B Visa, People in Specialty Occupations
    • H-2A Visa, Seasonal Agricultural Workers
    • H-2B Visa, Temporary or Seasonal Non-agricultural Workers
    • H-3 Visa, Trainees
    • K-1 Visa, Fiancé(e)
    • O-1 Visas, Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement
    • O-2 Visas, Persons Accompanying an O-1
    • P-1 Visas, Individual or Team Athletes, or Members of an Entertainment Group
    • P-2 Visas, Artists or Entertainers
    • NACARA Relief
    • Q-1 Visa, Participants in an International Cultural Exchange Program
    • Refugee/ Asylee
    • T Visa, Victims of Human Trafficking
    • Temporary Protected Status
    • U Visa, Nonimmigrant Victim of a Crime
  2. Your nonimmigrant status allows you to work for a specific employer:
    • L Visa, Intracompany Transferees
    • B-1 Visa, Nonimmigrant Employee
  3. Your nonimmigrant status allows you to work conditionally and you must file for permission:
    • Dependent of a A-1 or A-2 Foreign Government Official
    • Dependent of a G-1, G-3 or G-4 Nonimmigrant
    • Dependent of NATO-1 through NATO-6
    • Dependent of TECROE E-1 Nonimmigrant
    • F-1 Visa, Student
    • L-2 Visa, Spouse of an Intracompany Transferee
    • J-2 Visa, Spouse or Minor Child of an Exchange Visitor
    • M-1 Visa, Student
    • Spouse of an E Treaty Trader or Investor

How to Apply for Work Permit

After completely filling out Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, with black ink or type according to the appropriate eligibility category, you'll need to collect required documentation to submit with your application.

All applications require the following documentation:

  • A copy of Form I-94, Arrival Departure Record
  • A copy of a government issued photo ID such as:
    • Your most recent EAD
    • Your passport
    • Your driver's license with Birth Certificate
  • 2 identical passport style photographs taken within 30 days of filing

Additional documentation may be required depending on your eligibility category and reason for filing.

How to work in USA?

If you are not a United States citizen or permanent resident, you will need a nonimmigrant visa to work in the United States. Not all nonimmigrant visas authorize you to work. For example, many visitor visas do not allow you to work.

Once you have acquired a nonimmigrant visa that permits you to work in the United States, you must file Form I-765 to obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). An EAD is important in that it shows your employer or potential employer that you are eligible to work in the United States.

What is an EAD?

An EAD is an Employment Authorization Document. All nonimmigrants living in the United States must obtain an EAD to work. File Form I-756, Application for Employment Authorization, to obtain an EAD.

How to renew EAD?

Most Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) are only valid for 1 year. Depending on your nonimmigrant status, you may renew your EAD by filing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.