Applying for Employment Authorization to Work in the United States

If you are a foreign national who needs to prove you are eligible to work in the United States, you will need to apply for Employment Authorization. This same authorization can be used by legal immigrants who are able to work here but need legal proof of that because their potential employer requires it. You must have a basis on which to be filing for employment authorization dependent on the immigration benefit you are seeking. Not just anyone can apply for employment authorization.

To obtain authorization to be employed in the United States, or evidence of your authorization incident to status, you must fileForm I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. For everything to be legal, this authorization should be received before beginning the employment.

Applicants who need Employment Authorization will need to:

  • Complete the Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. The detailed instructions for filling out the form can be found here.
  • Submit the Filing Fee(s). The filing fee for I-765 is $410. Certain categories of applicants* (see below) also need to pay an $85 biometric services fee, for a total of $495.
  • Submit general supplemental documentation. This is the same for all categories of applicants.
    • A copy of your Form I-94, Nonimmigrant Arrival-Departure Record (front and back), a printout of your electronic Form I-94, or your passport or other travel document
    • A copy of your last Employment Authorization Document (if applicable)
    • Two identical passport-style photographs
    • Form G-28 (if you are represented by an attorney or accredited representative)
    • If you were not previously issued an EAD, you must submit a copy of a government-issued identity document
  • Submit evidence. Include all required initial evidence and supporting documentation for the Form I-765. This evidence actually varies widely based on the category the applicant falls within. USCIS has a helpful list of documents necessary per applicant category here.

*The biometric fee is required for applicants falling within these categories:

  • (c)(33) Requesting consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
  • (c)(35) A beneficiary of an approved employment-based immigrant petition and you are facing compelling circumstances
  • (c)(36) A spouse or unmarried dependent child of a beneficiary of an employment-based immigrant petition who is facing compelling circumstance

A word about foreign documents: All documents in a language other than English need to include a full English translation along with a certification from the translator verifying that the translation is complete and accurate, and that they are competent to translate from the foreign language to English. All legitimate translators should be able to provide this evidence.

As you submit your form I-765, you can request to be notified of any changes in status via text message and/or email. To do so, applicants need to complete Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance, and attach it to the front of the first application in the package.

Need help with your filing of Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization? We are here to help. Contact us today to set up a consultation and go over your options.