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EAD – Employment Authorization Document

The EAD, officially known as Form I-766, is a document issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It allows non-citizens who are in the US on certain visas or through other qualifying statuses to legally work for any employer in the country. The EAD itself is a credit card-sized document with your photo and biographical information, similar to a driver’s license.

At Rebecca Black Immigration, P.A., we understand the challenges you face and are dedicated to helping you achieve your dreams of working in the United States.

Who is eligible for an EAD?

Eligibility for an EAD varies depending on your immigration status. Some of the common categories of individuals who can apply for an EAD include:

  • Green card applicants: While waiting for their green card application to be processed, individuals can apply for an EAD to avoid employment gaps.
  • Asylum seekers: Once an asylum application has been pending for 180 days, asylum seekers can apply for an EAD.
  • Certain visa holders: Individuals on visas like H-4 (dependent of an H-1B visa holder), E (treaty trader/investor), or L (intracompany transfer) may be eligible for an EAD.
  • Other categories: Individuals with certain humanitarian statuses or temporary protected status may also be eligible for an EAD.

How to apply for an EAD

The application process for an EAD involves several steps:

  • Gather required documents: This includes proof of identity, immigration status, and eligibility for the specific EAD category you are applying under.
  • Complete Form I-765: This is the official application form for the EAD.
  • Pay the application fee: Unless you qualify for a fee waiver, you will need to pay a filing fee.
  • Submit your application: You can submit your application online or by mail.

Processing Time for EAD

The processing time for an EAD can vary greatly depending on several factors, including:

  • Your EAD category: Different categories have different processing times. For example, as of December 2023, the processing time for category c EADs (for green card applicants) is currently around 6.7 months, while the processing time for category a EADs (for asylum seekers) is around 14.1 months.
  • The current workload of USCIS: When USCIS is receiving a high volume of applications, it can take longer to process them.
  • Where your application is being processed: USCIS has different processing times for different service centers.

Here are some general estimates of how long it takes to process an EAD:

  • Category c EADs: 6-12 months
  • Category a EADs: 12-18 months
  • Category b EADs: 4-8 months

It is important to note that these are just estimates, and the actual processing time for your application may be longer or shorter.

EAD Renewal and EAD Replacement

Maintaining your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is crucial for non-citizens to legally work in the US. But when it comes to keeping your work permit valid, understanding the difference between renewal and replacement is key. Let’s break it down:

EAD Renewal:

  • For: When your current EAD is nearing its expiration date (within 6 months) and you still qualify for the same category of work authorization.
  • Process:
    • Form: File Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.
    • Fees: Pay the application fee unless you qualify for a fee waiver.
    • Timing: Start the process well before your current EAD expires to avoid employment gaps. USCIS processing times can vary, so check their website for current estimates.
    • Automatic extension: If you file for renewal before your EAD expires, you may receive an automatic extension of your work authorization while your application is pending.

EAD Replacement:

  • For: When your current EAD is lost, stolen, damaged, or contains incorrect information.
  • Process:
    • Form: File Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, and mark the box for “replacement.”
    • Fees: Pay the application fee unless you qualify for a fee waiver.
    • Provide evidence: You may need to provide additional documentation to support your claim for replacement, such as a police report for a lost or stolen EAD.

Why Choose Us for Your EAD Journey?

  • Experienced and Knowledgeable: Our team of skilled immigration attorneys possesses a deep understanding of EAD regulations and procedures. We have a proven track record of success in securing EADs for clients from diverse backgrounds.
  • Personalized Approach: We believe in tailoring our services to your specific needs. We take the time to understand your unique situation and goals, then develop a customized strategy to maximize your chances of EAD approval.
  • Comprehensive Support: We offer a full range of EAD services, from initial eligibility assessments and application assistance to representation during interviews and appeals. We are your one-stop shop for all your EAD needs.

Our EAD Services

  • Eligibility Assessment: We carefully analyze your situation to determine which EAD category best suits your circumstances and maximizes your chances of approval.
  • Application Preparation: We guide you through the application process, ensuring all necessary documents are gathered and submitted accurately and efficiently.
  • Legal Representation: We advocate for your rights and interests throughout the EAD process, representing you before USCIS and addressing any issues that may arise.
  • Appeal Support: If your EAD application is denied, we can help you understand the reasons and explore potential appeal options.

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