Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) are provided to foreign nationals who have pending immigration applications, but are in search of employment in the United States. The EAD is similar to a green card in that it is a work permit that authorizes the holder to legally work in the United States for a specific period of time, based on their immigration situation. Nonimmigrants on other work visas (H, I, L-1, O-1) are not eligible for an EAD.

To apply for an EAD, you must file Form I-765 by mail with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) center in the area where you live, or sign the form electronically (if available in your location). If you have not received a decision from USCIS within 90 days of a properly filed EAD application, you may be eligible to receive an interim card by going directly to your local USCIS office with proof of identity and any notices you’ve received about your EAD application. Interim EADs are valid for up to 240 days.

USCIS will also renew EAD cards within 120 days of the expiration date, and replace lost, stolen, or damaged cards.