Work Permit

A work permit is also known as an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). EADs are issued to foreign born individuals who are authorized to work in the U.S. The EAD card contains the individual’s photo and sometimes their fingerprint. USCIS issues the following types of EADs:

  • Initial EAD: provides proof of an individual’s ability to work in the U.S.
  • Renewal EAD: renews initial EAD. Applicants should not file for renewal more than 180 days before the initial EAD expires.
  • Replacement EAD: replaces lost, stolen, mutilated EADs. EADs containing incorrect information (i.e. misspelled name) can also qualify for replacement.

Policy Update: May 4, 2022 USCIS published a rule that automatically extends the work authorization of certain EAD renewals from 180 to 540 days. The extension applies to certain EAD renewal applicants who filed for renewal on or before October 26, 2023.

Eligibility for a Work Permit (aka EAD)

There are over 40 different eligibility categories that would allow an individual to apply for Employment Authorization Document (EAD). For example, Lawful Permanent Resident, Refugee/ Asylee, Fiance, or Temporary Protected Status applicant.

Applying for a Work Permit
  • Confirm Eligibility
  • File Form I-765 for employment authorization
  • Noncitizens whose immigrations status allows them to work in the US without restriction, can file Form I-765 to receive written proof of their authorization
Cost of Applying for a Work Permit

USCIS charges the following filing fees during the application process. There are fee exemptions available on a limited basis.

  • USCIS charges a filing fee of $410 to submit Form I-765
  • $85 biometric services fee required for those applying under the following eligibility criteria:
    • Beneficiary of an approved employment-based immigrant petition & facing compelling circumstances;
    • Spouse or unmarried dependent child of a beneficiary of an employment-based immigration petition, who is facing compelling circumstances;
    • Applicant for Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands long term resident status.
  • There is no $85 biometric services fee for any other eligibility category
  • Additional Exemptions indicated by USCIS (as of June 2023):
    • Through Sept 30, 2023 there is no fee to file Form I-765 for Afghan nationals applying for work authorization on the basis of parole
    • No filing fee for FOrm I-765 by current or former service members who were paroled in the U.S. under the Immigrant Military Members and Veterans Initiative (IMMVI)
  • USCIS will accept fee payment with money order, personal check, cashier’s check, or pay by credit card using Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions.
Additional EAD Resources