EAD cards are nothing but Employment Authorization Documents, that grant immigrants permission to work in the United States. Green Card holders and US citizens can work in the United States as their legal status in the country authorizes them to work. Likewise, there are some categories of non-immigrants whose non-immigrant visas authorize them to work in America. But few other non-immigrants who are not authorized to work in America must obtain permission to work in the country. Such non-immigrants, to work in America must obtain Employment Authorization Documents also known as EAD cards and work permits. Work permits must also be obtained by the other non-immigrants who are authorized to work in America without restrictions, to establish that they are authorized to work in the country.
Likewise, it is the responsibility of the US employers to ensure that the workers they recruit are authorized to work in the United States. That is because, everyone who enters the United States cannot work in the country and certain categories of non-immigrants cannot work in America. Hence, you need to file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, if you seek to work in the United States and if you are not a US citizen or a Green Card holder. If your current non-immigrant status in America authorizes you to work temporarily in the United States and if you hold a non-immigrant visa that requires you to apply for and acquire a work permit to legally work in America, you will have to file Form I-765 and get an EAD card prior to seeking work in America. This document will help you to establish that you are authorized to work in America for a certain period of time or until your non-immigrant status is valid. USCIS generally issues EAD cards valid for a year.
Applying for an EAD Card
To apply for an EAD card, you will have to file the USCIS Form I-765 and make sure that you use the current edition of the form dated 08/15/2012. That is because USCIS frequently updates forms and it will not accept older versions of the forms. This petition can be filed online, but you need to remember that not all categories of applicants are eligible to file Form I-765 online. Prior to filing the form, you will have to go through the form instructions and ensure that you are eligible to file an application for a work permit, online. Similar to the other USCIS forms, your application for an Employment Authorization Document also must accompany some supporting documents and the exact form filing fee.
You must file Form I-765 with the form filing fee of $380 and you will be required to pay $85, biometrics services fee along with the form filing fee, if you are applying for deferred action status. If not, you need not pay the biometrics services fee. If you do not belong to a category that is eligible to file this form online, you need to apply for a work permit using the paper Form I-765. In this case, you will have to file your application at a USCIS Lockbox facility. You may file Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance, along with Form I-765, if you wish to know whether your application has been accepted by the USCIS or not as the USCIS will send you a text message or an email as soon as the agency accepts your application.