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Working legally is much better than when you have to do the fastest way to work illegally. Maybe, it is more complicated and needs more time to process. However, once you get your right to work legally, you don’t need to worry about the problem with the law, especially in the US. As for the US, every worker/employee must have the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) for working there.

What is an Employment Authorization Document?

EAD is a document granted to those who will and are working in the US. This document becomes proof that that person is allowed and has the right to work and make a living in the US. EAD has a lifespan. Mostly, it will only be valid for one year. After that, you need to renew it, if you want to continue to work. 

One more important thing you must understand about EAD is it doesn’t give you permission to enter or stay in the US. This is only a work permit. As for the entry or staying permit, another document is needed, such as Visa or Green Card. 

Who is Eligible for an EAD?

Now, after you understand what EAD is, you also need to know who is eligible to get an EAD for working in the US. Here are the lists of people who are eligible to get EAD.

•  Green Card applicant, 

•  E1, E2, and H-1B Visa holders. It is the Visa granted for the spouses of the employee who work in the US using non-immigrant Visa.

•  F1 student in the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program. Read also F1 visa renewal

•  K1 Visa Holder,

•  Citizens of Micronesia, the Marshal Islands, and Palau,

•  Refugees,

•  Asylum seekers,

•  People that have received the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) grant.

Who does Not Need EAD?

Do we always need to apply for EAD when we want to work in the US? It depends on your status. In most cases, you need to apply for EAD. However, there are some exceptions. If you are included in the list below, you don’t need to apply and have EAD to work in the US.

⁃  A lawful permanent resident of the US,

⁃  Green Card holder and you get it from Form I-551. This card itself is your permit and authorization to work in the US.

⁃  Specific non-immigrant Visa holders, such as P Visa, O Visa, L-1B, or H-1B, you don’t need to apply for EAD.

How to Apply for EAD?

To apply for EAD, you must follow these four steps.

  1. Form I-765

Get the Form I-765 from USCIS official website. Download it and fill it up with the necessary information. Make sure you write in detail, especially the answer regarding your personal information. 

  1. Provide the Required Documents

To prove your eligibility for EAD, you must attach the documents needed and required. It might be a little bit complicated because in some cases, you need to attach many documents. Once you have them all, you can submit it with the Form I-765 you have filled before. If you apply EAD for adjusting your status, you don’t need to attach certain documents. USCIS has already had the information you sent to them when you apply it for the first time. 

  1. Fee Receipts

Attach the fee receipts you have paid before. Applying for EAD is not free. You need to pay work permit costs and others. You need to finish this part first before you submit your application. Without the receipts, USCIS won’t process your application.

  1. Submit your application

Once you are finished everything, including the required documents and payment, you can submit your application to USCIS. You can do it in two ways, which are by mail or using the online method via the e-filling form. And, ensure that you already have a copy of the documents you are submitting. In case, they request some change or addition, you can easily get what they need.

What are the Necessary Supporting Documents to Apply for an EAD?

As we mentioned above, you need to attach some documents to apply for an EAD. And, here are the examples of documents you need to submit.

• Fee receipts,

• Form I-765,

• A copy of Form I-94,

• A copy of last EAD (if you are reapplying, readjust status, or renew),

• 2 identical photographs,

• List of your income, expenses, and assets (if required),

• E-Notification, for you who submit via online method. You need to complete Form G-1145 for this one,

• Copy of your current passport,

• Additional documents as described in the Form I-765.

Renewal of EAD

If you plan to renew your EAD, you need to know a few things below:

•  You can only apply for the renewal before or after your current EAD expired. 

•   You can only apply for the renewal for EAD under the same category as your previous one.

•   You cannot apply for the renewal more than 180 days before the expiration date of your current EAD. Once within those 180 days, you can start to apply for the renewal.

•  The process is the same as when you apply for EAD. Plus, you need to add a copy of your previous EAD.

Fees for EAD

You need to pay for the application filing fee, which is $410, and the biometric fee, which is $85. So, the total fee you need to pay for applying or renewing your EAD is $495.


EAD sound that only made for those who work in a company or hired by an employer. So, most people ask about whether they can start their own business, job or even having multiple jobs with EAD? The answer is yes, you can. As long as you fulfill the requirement to work and stay in the US for that job, you won’t have a problem to have multiple jobs or your own business. Just remember, the EAD has an expiration date. So, it might not be a good idea to start a business with it. And, that’s all that you need to know about EAD.