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Employment Authorization

U.S. employers must check to make sure all employees, regardless of citizenship or national origin, are allowed to work in the United States. If you are not a citizen or a lawful permanent resident, you may need to prove that you can work in the United States by presenting an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) You may apply for an EAD if you are eligible.

USCIS issues the following types of EADs:

  • Initial EAD: This document proves you are allowed to work in the United States.
  • Renewal EAD: This document renews your initial EAD. Generally, you should not file for a renewal EAD more than 180 days before your original EAD 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.

Note: In addition, certain B-1 nonimmigrant visitors are issued EADs.

Form I-765 Category

Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, asks for your eligibility category. It is important that you write the correct eligibility category on your application. 

Please see the Form I-765 instructions for a complete list of eligibility categories. You may also find eligibility categories in section 274a.12, title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

Form I-765 Category  Description
(a)(2) Lawful temporary resident
(a)(3) Refugee
(a)(4) Paroled refugee
(a)(5) Asylee
(a)(6) Fiancé(e) (K-1 or K-2 nonimmigrant)
(a)(7) N-8 or N-9
(a)(8) Citizen of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, or Palau
(a)(9) K-3 or K-4
(a)(10) Withholding of deportation or removal granted
(a)(11) Deferred Enforced Departure
(a)(12) Temporary Protected Status granted
(a)(13) Family Unity Program (Section 301 of the Immigration Act of 1990)
(a)(14) LIFE Legalization (Section 1504 of the Legal Immigrant Family Equity (LIFE) Act Amendments)
(a)(15) V visa nonimmigrant
(a)(16) T-1 nonimmigrant
(a)(17) Spouse of an E nonimmigrant
(a)(18) Spouse of an L nonimmigrant
(a)(19) U-1 nonimmigrant
(a)(20) U-2, U-3, U-4, or U-5 nonimmigrant
(c)(1) Spouse/dependent of A-1 or A-2 visa nonimmigrant
(c)(2) Spouse/dependent of Coordination Council for North American Affairs (E‑1)/ Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO)
(c)(3)(A) F-1 student, pre-completion Optional Practical Training
(c)(3)(B) F-1 student, post-completion Optional Practical Training
(c)(3)(C) F-1 student, 24-month extension for STEM students
(c)(3)(ii) F-1 student, off-campus employment sponsored by a qualifying international organization
(c)(3)(iii) F-1 student, off-campus employment due to severe economic hardship
(c)(4) Spouse/dependent of G-1, G-3, or G-4
(c)(5) J-2 spouse or child of J-1 exchange visitor
(c)(6) M-1 student, Practical Training
(c)(7) Dependent of NATO-1 through NATO-6
(c)(8) Asylum application pending filed on/after Jan. 4, 1995
(c)(8) Asylum application pending filed before Jan. 4, 1995 and applicant is not in exclusion/deportation proceedings
(c)(8) Asylum application pending filed before Jan. 4, 1995 and applicant is in exclusion/deportation proceedings
(c)(8) Asylum application under ABC Agreement
(c)(9) Pending adjustment of status under Section 245 of the Act
(c)(10) Suspension of deportation applicants (filed before April 1, 1997) Cancellation of Removal applicants Cancellation applicants under NACARA
(c)(11) Public Interest parolee
(c)(12) Spouse of an E-2 CNMI investor
(c)(14) Deferred action
(c)(15) Not in use
(c)(16) Creation of record (adjustment based on continuous residence since Jan. 1, 1972)
(c)(17)(i) B-1 domestic servant of certain nonimmigrants
(c)(17)(ii) B-1 domestic servant of certain U.S. citizens who are in the United States on a temporary basis.
(c)(17)(iii) Certain B-1 nonimmigrant employees of a foreign airline
(c)(18) Order of supervision
(c)(19) Certain pending TPS applicants whom USCIS has determined are prima facie eligible for TPS and who may then receive an EAD as a ”temporary treatment benefit” under 8 C.F.R. 244.10(a).
(c)(20) Section 210 legalization (pending I-700)
(c)(21) S visa nonimmigrant
(c)(22) Section 245A legalization (pending I-687)
(c)(23) Irish peace process (Q-2)
(c)(24) LIFE legalization
(c)(25) T-2, T-3, T-4, T-5, or T-6 nonimmigrant
(c)(26) Spouse of an H-1B nonimmigrant
(c)(31) VAWA self-petitioners with an approved Form I-360
(c)(33) Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
(c)(35) Principal beneficiary of an approved employment-based immigrant petition facing compelling circumstances
(c)(36) Spouse or unmarried child of a principal beneficiary of an approved employment-based immigrant petition facing compelling circumstances

Form I-765V Category

Form I-765V, Application for Employment Authorization for Abused Nonimmigrant Spouse, asks for your eligibility category. It is important that you write the correct eligibility category on your application. 

Please see the Form I-765V instructions for a complete list of eligibility categories. You may also find eligibility categories in section 274a.12, title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

Form I-765V Category  Description
(c)(27) Abused spouse of an A nonimmigrant
(c)(28) Abused spouse of an E-3 nonimmigrant
(c)(29) Abused spouse of a G nonimmigrant
(c)(30) Abused spouse of an H nonimmigrant

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