Employment Authorization Information
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced it was accelerating processing for work authorization applications for certain migrants, as well as extending and redesignating Venezuela and Afghanistan for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), which grants migrants from these two countries employment authorization and temporary protection from removal. These efforts help protect the safety of migrant arrivals who have escaped dire situations in their home countries, and allow them get their work permits sooner so they can seek employment.
In the U.S. , employers are required to verify that employees are allowed to work in the country. Certain foreign nationals may need to prove their eligibility to work in the U.S. by presenting an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), also known as a work permit. The information below details what an EAD is, who is eligible, how to apply and other important information.
What is an Employment Authorization Document (EAD)?
- An Employment Authorization Document (EAD), also referred to as a work permit, allows you to prove that you are eligible to work lawfully in the U.S.
- An EAD does not give you immigration status in the U.S, but can serve as a form of identification.
- Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Holders, Humanitarian Parolees and Asylum Seekers are eligible to apply for an EAD.
Who is Eligible for TPS?
- TPS is granted to individuals who are nationals of a designate country, have filed for status during a specified registration period, and have been continuously physically present in the U.S. since a designated date.
- Ex. TPS is available for Venezuelans who entered the U.S. before July 31, 2023 and have been continuously physically present (have never left the U.S.) since arrival.
Who has Humanitarian Parole?
- Nationals of Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela who were recently paroled into the U.S.
- Migrants who received a CBP One App™appointment and presented at a Point of Entry.
Who is an Asylum Seeker?
- An individual who believes they are in danger of persecution if they return to their country, is already in the U.S., and has filed form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal.
- An Asylum Seeker who has Humanitarian Parole and has not submitted form I-589 can apply for an EAD right away. However, if the asylum seeker has filed form I-589, they are eligible to apply for an EAD once the asylum application has been pending for at least 150 days.
How do I Apply for an Employment Authorization Document?
- You can begin by visiting https://myaccount.uscis.gov/users/sign_up to create a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) account online.
- After you create your account, file your Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization https://www.uscis.gov/i-765.
- You may also submit a paper application by mail.
Documents Needed for I-765 Application:
- Two copies of identical passport-style photographs
- Either a copy of your stamped Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record (front and back), a printout of your electronic Form I-94, a copy of your passport, or other travel document. To retrieve a copy of your Form I-94, click here
- A copy of a government-issued identity document
- A copy of your last EAD, if applicable
- Form G-28 (if you are represented by an attorney or accredited representative)
If you have already filed an asylum application (Form, I-589) you must provide:
- Evidence of a lodged or filed Form I-589 with USCIS or Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR)
- If filed with USCIS, provide a copy of your USCIS Acknowledgment of Receipt and USCIS Asylum Interview Notice; or your Form I-797C application support center appointment notice; any other evidence of a filed Form I-589;
- If lodged with EOIR, provide a legible copy of Form I-589 containing the Received Date stamp and Lodge/Receipt Stamp; or
- If filed with EOIR, provide acknowledgment you received Form I-589 (such as receipt stamp) or any other available evidence. If your asylum application was remanded or denied, please visit the USCIS website for further guidance.
What are the Filing Fees?
- For individuals with a pending asylum application (Form I-589), there is no fee to file your EAD (Form I-765).
- For individuals paroled into the U.S., there is a $410 filing fee.
- Some eligible EAD applicants may be required to pay a $85 biometric services fee depending on immigration eligibility categories. For example, asylum applicants and those with humanitarian parole status.
If You Cannot Pay the Filing Fee, Help is Available:
- To learn more about your eligibility for a waiver of this filing fee, visit: https://www.uscis.gov/forms/filing-fees/additional-information-on-filing-a-fee-waiver.
- You may be eligible if:
- Your household income is at or below 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines at the time of filing.
- Your household is receiving or has received services from a homeless shelter
- You can demonstrate financial hardship or you or a member of your household is a recipient of a means-tested benefit such as Medicaid, SNAP, TANF or SSI.
Where Can I Receive Help?
- Legal assistance may be available from a reputable organization. Please see the Department of Justice’s Pro Bono Legal Services Providers.
Protect Yourself from Scams
Don’t fall victim of a scam or fraud. Get reputable and authorized help. It is important to seek advice from a qualified immigration attorney or an accredited representative. The wrong advice could harm your chances of staying in the U.S.Here are some tips to help secure accurate advice:
- Government impersonators – individuals who pose as federal or state officials. Any government official will only contact you through official government channels not using your social media accounts.
- Misleading offers of support –individuals attempting to get your personal information or money by claiming they are authorized or able to offer you a green card or a work permit.
- Scam websites – Be sure to gather information from official government websites only and not unsecured websites that claim to be associated with government.
- Payments by phone or e-mail: fees associated with immigration applications are payable to USCIS only. USCIS will never ask you to transfer money to an individual, pay through WesternUnion, Moneygram, Paypal or gift cards. USCIS will also never ask you to pay fees to a person on the phone or by e-mail.
Beware of Notario Fraud!
- Unscrupulous individuals pretending to be “immigration consultants,” “notarios” or “attorneys,” are falsely claiming they can provide immigration services to targeted immigrants with limited English skills. Only attorneys and certain other accredited representatives authorized by the USCIS are allowed to prepare legal documents such as immigration forms, give advice on legal matters, or represent clients in a legal proceeding. Please see the Department of Justice’s Pro Bono Legal Services Providers.
- To report immigration scams, call the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs at 1-800-242-5846(toll-free within New Jersey) or at 973-504-6200.
What Happens After I Apply?
- After Form I-765 has been filed, you can check your case status online on your USCIS account. Processing time is about 30 days. USCIS will notify you of the decision in writing. If your application is approved, your EAD will be mailed to you or you might be asked to visit a local USCIS office to pick it up.
- Please update your address with USCIS to ensure you receive all correspondence and benefits in a timely manner and avoid possible delays related to your case.
- If your address has changed, you must update it. You may do so through your USCIS online account if you filed your form online or by filing a Form AR-11, Change of Address Card. For more information on changing your address with USCIS, visit https://www.uscis.gov/addresschange.
Getting Ready to Work
Social Security Number
- Social Security numbers generally are assigned to people who are authorized to work in U.S. Social Security numbers are used to report your wages to the government and to determine eligibility for Social Security benefits.
- We encourage you to apply for a Social Security number (SSN) using Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization https://www.uscis.gov/i-765, and following the form instructions. If you request an SSN in Part 2 (Items 13a-17.b) of your Form I-765, and your application is approved, USCIS will electronically transmit that data to the Social Security Administration (SSA), and SSA will assign you a SSN and issue you a Social Security card. SSA will mail your Social Security card directly to the address you provide on Form I-765.
- If you do not request an SSN on your Form I-765, you can apply for an SSN after you receive your EAD from USCIS using the instructions on SSA’s Social Security Number and Card webpage https://www.ssa.gov/ssnumber/.
- When you start to work, your employer is required to have you complete an I-9 form (Employment Eligibility Verification) and to show proof that you are allowed to work in the U.S.. As long as you have a SSN and a work permit, it’s illegal for employers to discriminate against you because of your immigration status.
For Information on Career Services and Employment Assistance:
- Assistance is available through the NJ Department of Labor, please visit: Career Services and Employment Assistance Information.
For Information About Worker’s Rights Please Visit: