To work in the U.S., you will need to be a permanent resident (green card holder), a U.S. citizen or hold an employment authorization document (EAD). This EAD is commonly known as a work permit. Certain categories of nonimmigrants who seek to work in the U.S. can file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, to request an Employment Authorization Document.
If you are not a permanent resident or a U.S. citizen or a work visa holder, you will need to obtain an EAD to legally work here. If you are a foreign national living in the U.S. on a nonimmigrant visa and you seek to work in the country, you may file Form I-765, to request work authorization in the U.S. and an Employment Authorization Card. Likewise, this form can also be used by foreign nationals whose immigration status in the U.S. allows them to work here without restrictions.
When you complete this form, you need to make sure that you are not missing out any of the important form fields. According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), all the parts of the form must be completed. This form includes the following five parts:
Part 1 – Reason for Applying
Part 2 – Information About You
Part 3 – Applicant’s Statement, Contact Information, Declaration, Certification, and Signature
Part 4 – Interpreter’s Contact Information, Certification, and Signature
Part 5 – Contact Information, Certification, and Signature of the Person Preparing this Application, if other than the Applicant
Step by Step Instructions to Complete Form I-765
Remember to complete all parts of the application. Do not leave a space blank, instead, you can write N/A or None if a question is not applicable.
Part 1. Reason for Applying
There are three options from which you need to choose one. If you are applying for your initial work permit, check 1.a, “Initial permission to accept employment.” Check 1.b. if you are filing this form to replace your lost or damaged EAD or to correct errors on your current EAD. Check 1.c. if you are renewing your work permit.
Part 2. Information About You
This part requires you to provide information about you that includes your name, date of birth, etc. This part is self-explanatory.
For Question 8, you can enter your Alien Registration Number if you were issued one. Apart from the USCIS, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Department of State also issue Alien Registration Numbers to some individuals. If you were issued one such number, you can find it on any correspondence sent to you from one of these agencies.
Similarly, you will have a USCIS Online Account Number (Question 9) if you have registered on the USCIS system to file some other immigration application. You can login to your online account to find your account number.
You can answer “Yes” to question 13.a if you were issued a Social Security Card and enter your Social Security Number (SSN) in the spaces provided. If you do not have one, you can check “No.” If you do not have an SSN and if you need one, you can check “yes” to question number 14 and 15. This is to provide authorization to disclose information from your application to the Social Security Office for issuing you a Social Security Card and for assigning you an SSN. You can enter your father’s and mother’s names in the spaces provided.
Question 21 requires your Form I-94 Arrival-Departure Record Number. You can find that number that you can find on your Form I-94. Enter the date and place of last arrival into the U.S., your Travel Document Number and Passport number and your nonimmigrant visa category, for other questions under “Information About Your Last Arrival in the United States.”
Question number 27 asks for your eligibility category, which you can find on the form instructions page.
Part 3 – Applicant’s Statement, Contact Information, Declaration, Certification and Signature
This part is self-explanatory. You will need to enter your contact information in this section. Insert your signature in the space provided.
Part 4 and 5 must be completed if you did not complete the form and if it was completed by someone else.
Your application will be rejected if you miss the following important information, according to the USCIS.
Part 1 – You will need to select the reason why you are filing Form I-765. You must select just one box.
Part 2 – Information About You
You will need to enter your full name in the appropriate boxes and other names that you might have used. Your date of birth, address, names of your parents and your alien registration number are other information that you will need to enter in this section.
Make sure you don’t leave this part of the form incomplete. USCIS will reject your application if you do not complete this section.
Your full name in (1.a. – 1.c.)
U.S. Mailing Address (5.a. – 5.f.)
Your Date of Birth (20)
Your Eligibility Category (27) (You will need to refer to the Form I-765 form filing instructions to know what your eligibility category is.)
Remember, your application for a work permit will be rejected if you fail to sign the form.
What is the Filing Fee for Form I-765?
The current filing fee for Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, is $410. If you file under one of the following eligibility categories, you will have to pay the biometrics services fee, which is $85, along with the form filing fee.
- Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
- Beneficiary of an employment-based immigrant petition.
- Spouse or unmarried children of a beneficiary of an employment-based immigrant petition
If you belong to any other eligibility category, you need not pay the fee for biometrics services. The I-765 form filing instructions page has the list of eligibility categories. Likewise, in certain cases, USCIS may exempt you from paying the form filing fees.
The following categories of applicants need not pay the filing fee for Form I-765.
Those who are paroled as refugees.
- Asylees and refugees
- N-8 or N-9 nonimmigrants
- Victims of trafficking (T-1 nonimmigrants)
- U-1 nonimmigrants
- VAWA self-petitioners.
- U Nonimmigrant Adjustment of Status
- Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
You need not pay the filing fee to apply for an initial work permit and for renewal if
- you are a citizen of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, or Palau.
- you have been granted withholding of deportation.
- you are a dependent of a NATO personnel, certain foreign government or international organization official.
- you have applied for adjustment of status or you are a registry applicant who filed Form I-485 on or after July 30, 2007, and paid the filing fee for Form I-485. If you did not file Form I-765 along with Form I-485 and if you had filed it separately, you will need to submit a copy of Form I-797C Notice as evidence that you have filed Form I-485. If your filing fee for Form I-485 was waived, you may be required to pay the filing fee for Form I-765 or request the USCIS to waive the filing fee for Form I-765.
You will be allowed to pay the filing fee with a money order, personal check or a cashier’s check. You can use your credit card to pay the fee if you are filing at a USCIS Lockbox facility and not at a USCIS service center. In doing so, you will have to file Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions. Make sure your check is payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Who’s eligible to file for an EAD?
If you are a nonimmigrant living in the U.S. on one of the following temporary visas, you can file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization to get an EAD.
K-1, K-2 or K-3
Likewise, you can apply for an EAD, if you are in the U.S. on one of the following statuses.
Asylee and Refugee
Temporary Protected Status
You have applied for Adjustment of Status and your application is pending.
Your completed Form I-765 must be filed with the following:
- The required form filing fee.
- Your Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record, copy your electronic Form I-94, your passport, or other travel documents that you hold. (You need not submit the above-mentioned supporting documents if you are filing this form under the (c)(9) category)
- A copy of your previous EAD. If you were not issued an EAD previously, you can submit a copy of your government-issued identity document with your name and date of birth, copy of your birth certificate with photo ID or some form of national ID with your photo. (This does not apply to you if you are filing under the (c)(33) category. In this case, you will have to submit only the supporting documents that you submit along with Form I-821D under 2)
- Submit two photographs of yourself that meet the specifications, taken recently.