Employment Authorization Document - EAD, Work Permit
Every US employer must check that all employees, regardless of citizenship or national origin, are authorized to work in the US. Certain temporary aliens in the US can apply for employment authorization (work permit) by applying the Form I765, along with required documents, as described below.

EAD is the document (Form I-688, Form I-688A, Form I-688B, Form I-766, or any other successor document issued by USCIS) that proves as evidence that the holder is authorized to work in the United States.

Sample EAD

If you are a US citizen, lawful permanent resident (green card holder) or a conditional resident, you do NOT require EAD to work in the US. Proof of your US citizenship or green card is a proof of work authorization in the US. If you are authorized to work for a specific employer, such as a foreign government, you do NOT need EAD. Your passport and your Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record proves as your authorization to work in the US.

Nonimmigrants in a wide variety of categories are eligible to apply for EAD. Notably, H4 visa holders are NOT eligible to file for EAD until they apply for I-485.

If you are planning to work using EAD, you need the actual EAD card before you can start working on it. Mere approval message on the phone system is not enough.

Documents
A separate application form, fees and set of documents are required for each applicant (including yourself, each of your family member) who qualifies to get EAD.
  • Fee payment, if applicable

  • Form I-765, Application For Employment Authorization

    Sample Form I765

  • A copy of Form I94, nonimmigrant arrival/departure record (front and back), if available

  • A copy of your last EAD (front and back), if available

  • 2 identical photographs

  • If you are required to show economic necessity for your category (listed below), submit a list of your assets, income and expenses.

  • E-Notification: If you want to receive an e-mail and/or a text message that your Form I-765 has been accepted at a USCIS Lockbox facility, complete Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance and clip it to the first page of your application.

  • Category specific
    • Adjustment of Status Based
      • (c)(9) - Adjustment of Status Applicant
        A copy of the receipt notice or other evidence that your I-485 is pending.

        You may file Form-765 concurrently with Form I-485.

      • (c)(16) - Adjustment Applicant Based on Continuous Residence Since Jan 1, 1972
        A copy of the receipt notice or other evidence that your I-485 is pending.

        You may file Form-765 concurrently with Form I-485.

    • Asylee/Refugee
      • (a)(3) - Refugee
        Either a copy of Form I-590, Registration for Classification as Refugee, approval letter or a copy of a Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition, approval notice

      • (a)(4) - Paroled as a Refugee
        Nothing extra

      • (a)(5) - Asylee (granted asylum)
        A Copy of the USCIS letter, or judge's decision, granting you asylum. Not required to apply for an EAD until 90 days before the expiration of current EAD.

      • (c)(8) - Asylum Applicant (with a pending asylum application)

        Asylum Applicant (with a pending asylum application) who Filed for Asylum on or after Jan 4, 1995
        You must wait at least 150 days to file EAD following the filing of your asylum claim, else it will be denied. File EAD application with:
        • A copy of the USCIS acknowledgement mailer which was mailed to you; or

        • Other evidence that your Form I-589 was filed with USCIS; or

        • Evidence that your Form I-589 was filed with an Immigration Judge at the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR); or

        • Evidence that your asylum application remains under administrative or judicial review.

        Asylum Applicant (with a pending asylum application) who Filed for Asylum and for Withholding of Deportation Prior to January 4, 1995 and is NOT in Exclusion or Deportation Proceedings.
        You may file your EAD application at any time; however, it will only be granted if USCIS finds that your asylum application is not frivolous. File your EAD application with:
        • A complete copy of your previously filed Form I-589; AND

        • A copy of your USCIS receipt notice; or

        • A copy of the USCIS acknowledgement mailer; or

        • Evidence that your Form I589 was filed with EOIR; or

        • Evidence that your asylum application remains under administrative or judicial review; or

        • Other evidence that you filed an asylum application

        Asylum Applicant (with a pending asylum application) who Filed an Initial Request for Asylum Prior to January 4, 1995, and IS IN Exclusion or Deportation Proceedings.
        If you filed your Request for Asylum and Withholding of Deportation (Form I-589) prior to January 4, 1995 and you ARE IN exclusion or deportation proceedings, file your EAD application with:
        • A date-stamped copy of your previously filed Form I-589; or

        • A copy of Form I-221, Order to Show Cause and Notice of Hearing, or Form I-122, Notice to Applicant for Admission Detained for Hearing Before Immigration Judge; or

        • A copy of EOIR-26, Notice of Appeal, date stamped by the Office of the Immigration Judge; or

        • A date-stamped copy of a petition for judicial review or for habeas corpus issued to the asylum applicant; or

        • Other evidence that you filed an asylum application with EOIR.

        Asylum Application under the ABC Settlement Agreement--(c)(8)
        Salvadoran or Guatemalan national eligible for benefits under the ABC settlement agreement, American Baptist Churches v. Thornburgh , 760 F. Supp. 976 (N.D. Cal. 1991).

        You must have an asylum application (Form I-589) on file either with USCIS or with an immigration judge in order to receive work authorization. Therefore, please submit evidence that you have previously filed an asylum application when you submit your EAD application. You are not required to submit this evidence when you apply, but it will help USCIS process your request efficiently.

        If you are renewing or replacing your EAD, you must pay the filing fee.

        Write "ABC" in the top right corner of your EAD application. You must identify yourself as an ABC class member.

        You are entitled to an EAD without regard to the merits of your asylum claim. Your application for an EAD will be decided within 60 days if: (1) you pay the filing fee, (2) you have a complete, pending asylum application on file, and (3) write "ABC" in the top right corner of your EAD application. If you do not pay the filing fee for an initial EAD request, your request may be denied if USCIS finds that your asylum application is frivolous. However, if you cannot pay the filing fee for an EAD, you may qualify for a fee waiver.

    • Nationality
      • (a)(8) - Citizen of Federated States of Micronesia (CFA/FSM), the Marshall Islands (CFA/MIS) or Palau
        If you were admitted to the US as a citizen of these countries, pursuant to agreements between the US and the former trust territories.

      • (a)(11) - Deferred Enforced Departure (EAD)/Extended Voluntary Departure
        Evidence of your identity and nationality

      • (a)(12) - Temporary Protected Status
        File with Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status. For initial EAD based on TPS status, include evidence of identity and nationality as required by Form I-821.

      • (c)(19) - Temporary Treatment Benefits
        Evidence of your identity and nationality as required by Form I-821.
        • Extension of TPS status:
          A copy (front and back) of last available TPS document: EAD, Form I-94 or approval notice.

        • Registration for TPS only without employment authorization:
          File the Form I-765, Form I-821, and a letter indicating that this form is for registration purposes only. No EAD filing fee required in this case.

      • (c)(10) - NACARA Section 203 Applicants eligible to apply for NACARA relief with USCIS

      • (c)(2) - Dependent of TECRO E-1 Nonimmigrant
        Required certification from the American Institute in Taiwan if you are the spouse, or unmarried dependent son/daughter of an E-1 employee of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office.

    • Foreign Students
      • (c)(3)(A), (c)(3)(B), (c)(3)(C)- F-1 Student Seeking OPT (Optional Practical Training) in an Occupation Directly Related to Studies

        Attach certificate of Eligibility of Nonimmigrant(F-1) Student Status (Form I-20 A-B/I-20 ID) endorsed by a Designated School Official within the past 30 days

        (c)(3)(A) - Pre-completion Optional Practical Training

        (c)(3)(B) - Post-completion Optional Practical Training

        (c)(3)(C) - 17-month extension for STEM Students (Students with a degree in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics).
        • A copy of your degree reflecting the conferred degree as well as your major field of study.
        • The employer name as listed in E-Verify, along with the E-Verify Company Identification Number, or a valid E-Verify Client Company Identification Number, for the employer with whom you are seeking the 17-month OPT extension. This information must be provided in Item #17 of the application form.


      • (c)(3)(ii) - F-1 Student Offered Off-Campus Employment under the Sponsorship of a Qualifying International Organization
        • The international organization's letter of certification that the proposed employment is within the scope of its sponsorship

        • A certificate of Eligibility of Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status - For Academic and Language Students (Form I-20 A-B/I-20 ID) endorsed by the Designated School Official within the past 30 days

      • (c)(3)(iii) - F-1 Student Seeking Off-Campus Employment Due to Severe Economic Hardship
        • Form I-20 A-B/I-20 ID, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status - For Academic and Language Students

        • Any evidence you wish to submit, such as affidavits, that detail the unforeseen economic circumstances that cause your request

        • Evidence that you have tried to find off-campus employment with an employer who has filed a labor and wage attestation

      • (c)(5) - J-2 Spouse or Minor Child of an Exchange Visitors
        • A copy of Form DS-2019 or Form IAP-66 (J-1's (principal alien's) Certificate of Eligibility for J-1 (Exchange Visitor) Status)

        • A written statement, with any supporting evidence, that your employment is not necessary to support the J-1 but is for other purposes

      • (c)(6) - M-1 Student Seeking Practical Training after Completing Studies
        • Form I-539, Application to Change/Extend Nonimmigrant Status

        • Form I-20 M-N, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (M-1) Student Status - For Vocational Students endorsed by the Designated School Official within the past 30 days

    • Eligible Dependents of Employees of Diplomatic Missions, International Organizations, or NATO
      • (c)(1) - Dependent of A-1 or A-2 Foreign Government Officials
        Form I-566, Inter-Agency Record of Individual Requesting Change/Adjustment to, or from, A or G Status; or Requesting A, G, or NATO Dependent Employment Authorization, through your diplomatic mission to the Department of Status (DOS). The DOS will forward all favorably endorsed applications directly to the Nebraska Service Center for adjudication.

      • (c)(4) - Dependent of G-1, G-3 or G-4 Nonimmigrant
        Form I-566, Inter-Agency Record of Individual Requesting Change/Adjustment to, or from, A or G Status; or Requesting A, G, or NATO Dependent Employment Authorization, through your diplomatic mission to the Department of Status (DOS). [In New York City, the United Nations (UN) and UN missions should submit such applications to the United States Mission to the UN (USUN).] The DOS or USUN will forward all favorably endorsed applications directly to the Nebraska Service Center for adjudication.

      • (c)(7) - Dependent of NATO-1 through NATO-6
        Form I-566, Inter-Agency Record of Individual Requesting Change/Adjustment to, or from, A or G Status; or Requesting A, G, or NATO Dependent Employment Authorization, to

        NATO SACLANT,
        7857 Blandy Road, C-027,
        Suite 100,
        Norfolk, VA 23551-2490.

        NATO/SACLANT will forward all favorably endorsed applications directly to the Nebraska Service Center for adjudication.

    • Employment Based Nonimmigrants
      • (c)(17)(i) - B-1 Nonimmigrant who is the personal or domestic servant of a nonimmigrant employer
        • Evidence from your employer that he or she is a B, E, F, H, I, J, L, M, O, P, R, or TN nonimmigrant and you were employed for at least one year by the employer before the employer entered the United States or your employer regularly employs personal and domestic servants and has done so for a period of years before coming to the United States; and

        • Evidence that you have either worked for this employer as a personal or domestic servant for at least one year or, evidence that you have at least one year's experience as a personal or domestic servant; and

        • Evidence establishing that you have a residence abroad which you have no intention of abandoning.

      • (c)(17)(ii) - B-1 Nonimmigrant Domestic Servant of a US citizen
        • Evidence from your employer that he or she is a U.S. citizen; and

        • Evidence that your employer has a permanent home abroad or is stationed outside the United States and is temporarily visiting the United States or the citizen's current assignment in the United States will not be longer than four 4 years; and

        • Evidence that he or she has employed you as a domestic servant abroad for at least six 6 months prior to your admission to the United States.

      • (c)(17)(iii) - B-1 Nonimmigrant Employed by a Foreign Airline
        A letter from the airline fully describing your duties and indicating that your position would entitle you to E nonimmigrant status except for the fact that you are not a national of the same country as the airline or because there is no treaty of commerce and navigation in effect between the United States and that country.

      • (a)(17) - Spouse of an E-1/E-2 Treaty Trader or Investor
        Evidence of your lawful status and evidence you are a spouse of a principal E-1/E-2, such as your I-94. (Other relatives or dependents of E-1/E-2 aliens who are in E status are not eligible.)

      • (a)(18) - Spouse of an L-1 Intra Company Transferee
        Evidence of your lawful status and evidence you are a spouse of a principal L-1, such as your Form I-94. (Other relatives or dependents of L-1 aliens who are in L status are not eligible.)

        For both (a)(17) and (a)(18), the employment authorization card will be valid for the period of admission/status, but will not exceed two years. The applicant may reapply for a new EAD before(or after) the expiration of the two-year period. In addition, the dependent spouse may file the Form I-765 concurrently with the I539, Application to Extend or Change Nonimmigrant status.

    • Family Based Nonimmigrants
      • (a)(6) - K-1 Nonimmigrant Fiance(e) of US Citizen or K-2 Dependent
        File your EAD application if you are filing within 90 days from the date of entry. This EAD cannot be renewed. Any EAD application other than for a replacement must be based on your pending application for adjustment under (c)(9).

      • (a)(9) - K-3 Nonimmigrant Spouse of U.S. Citizen or K-4 Dependent
        Evidence of your admission such as copies of your Form I-94, passport, and K visa.

      • (a)(13) - Family Unity Program
        File your EAD application with a copy of the approval notice, if you have been granted status under this program. You may choose to file your EAD application concurrently with your Form I-817, Application for Voluntary Departure under the Family Unity Program. USCIS may take up to 90 days from the date upon which you are granted status under the Family Unity Program to adjudicate your EAD application. If you were denied Family Unity status solely because your legalized spouse or parent first applied under the Legalization/SAW programs after May 5, 1988, file your EAD application with a new Form I-817 application and a copy of the original denial. However, if your EAD application is based on continuing eligibility under (c)(12), please refer to Deportable Alien Granted Voluntary Departure.

      • (a)(14) - LIFE Family Unity
        If you are applying for initial EAD pursuant to the Family Unity provisions of section 1504 of the LIFE Act Amendments, or an extension of such authorization, don't use this form. Instead use Form I-817, Application for Family Unity Benefits. If you are applying for a replacement EAD that was issued pursuant to the LIFE Act Amendments Family Unity provisions, file your EAD application with the required evidence.

      • (a)(15) - V-1, V-2 or V-3 Nonimmigrant
        • If you entered the US with valid V visa, evidence of your admission, such as copies of your Form I-94, passport, and V visa.

        • If you have been granted V status while in the US, evidence of your V status, such as an approval notice.

        • If you are in the US States but you have not yet filed an application for V status, you may file EAD application concurrently with V status application. USCIS will adjudicate EAD application after adjudicating your application for V status.
    • Other
      • (a)(7) - N-8 or N-9 Nonimmigrant
        Nothing extra

      • (a)(10) - Granted Withholding of Deportation or Removal
        A copy of the Immigration Judge's order.
        It is not necessary to apply for a renewal EAD until 90 days before the expiration of your current EAD.

      • (c)(10) - Applicant for Suspension/Cancellation
        Evidence that your Form I-881 application for suspension of deportation, cancellation of removal or your EOIR-40 is pending

      • (c)(11) - Paroled in the Public Interest
        If you were paroled into the United States for emergent reasons or reasons strictly in the public interest

      • (c)(14) - Deferred Action
        A copy of the order, notice or document placing you in deferred action and evidence establishing economic necessity for an EAD

      • (c)(18) - Final Order of Deportation
        A copy of the order of supervision and a request for employment authorization which may be based on, but not limited to the following:
        • Existence of a dependent spouse and/or children in the United States who rely on you for support; and

        • Existence of economic necessity to be employed;

        • Anticipated length of time before you can be removed from the United States.

      • (c)(24) - LIFE Legalization Applicant
        You are encouraged to file EAD concurrently with I-485 application. However, you may file Form I-765 at a later date with evidence that you were a CSS, LULAC, or Zambrano class member applicant before Oct 1, 2000 and with a copy of the receipt notice or other evidence that your Form I-485 is pending.

      • (a)(16) - T-1 Nonimmigrant
        If you didn't request employment authorization when you applied for T nonimmigrant status, use this form for Initial EAD.

        For renewal/replacement of EAD, include evidence of your T status, such as an approval notice.

      • (c)(25) - T-2, T-3, T-4 Nonimmigrant
        A copy of your T-1's (principal alien's) approval notice and proof of your relationship to the T-1 principal.

Fee Payment
Application fee: Application fee must be sent with the application.

Biometric fee: If you are between the ages of 14 and 79 years, you need to pay a biometric services fee for USCIS to take fingerprints, if you have not already been fingerprinted for another immigration benefit (such as pending I-485).

Fee details

Filing fee is NOT required for
  • Initial EAD: filing under the following categories:
    • (a)(3) Refugee;
    • (a)(4) Paroled as Refugee;
    • (a)(5) Asylee;
    • (a)(7) N-8 or N-9 nonimmigrant;
    • (a)(8) Citizen of Micronesia, Marshall Islands or Palau;
    • (a)(10) Granted Withholding of Deportation;
    • (a)(11) Deferred Enforced Departure;
    • (a)(16) Victim of Severe Form of Trafficking(T-1);
    • (c)(1), (c)(4), (c)(7) Dependent of certain foreign government, international organization, or NATO personnel; or
    • (c)(8) Application for asylum [an applicant filing under the special ABC procedures must pay the fee].

  • Renewal EAD: filing under the following categories:
    • (a)(8) Citizen of Micronesia, Marshall Islands or Palau;
    • (a)(10) Granted Withholding of Deportation;
    • (a)(11) Deferred Enforced Departure; or
    • (c)(1), (c)(4), (c)(7) Dependent of certain foreign government, international organization, or NATO personnel.

  • Replacement EAD: filing under the following categories:
    • (c)(1), (c)(4), (c)(7) Dependent of certain foreign government, international organization, or NATO personnel.

If you are filing this application concurrently with Form I-485, Application for Permanent Residence, no fee is required to file this form. As of 07/30/07, if you file your Form I-765 separately, you must also submit a copy of your Form I-797C, Notice of Action, as a receipt of evidence for the filing of your I-485.

If you are filing for an extension of your Employment Authorization and your Form I-485, Application for Permanent Residence, was filed before July 30, 2007, then you must pay the $380 filing fee.

Filing The Application
Application filing instructions

Make a copy of the entire package (including the checks/money orders for fees) before you send it. Retain all originals. Send copies of original documents. The USCIS may ask to check them by issuing an RFE (Request For Evidence). If you receive an RFE, make a copy of everything you send as well.

Mailing location depends upon your answer to Question 16. Please look at the answer categories below to determine mailing location.

  • (a)(16), (a)(12), (a)(19), (a)(20), (c)(25)

    Service Center Address:

    For both U.S. postal service and private courier deliveries:

    USCIS
    Vermont Service Center
    Attn: I-765
    75 Lower Welden St.
    St. Albans, VT 05479-0001

    Same addresses also used for some casess in the following categories:

    (c)(14)

    An aline who has been granted Deferred Action as a surviving spouse or qualified child, or based on an approved Form I-360 filed for a battered or abused spouse or child


  • (a)(10), (c)(10), (c)(11), (c)(16), (c)(18)

    USCIS Lockbox Adresses:

    For U.S.Postal Service:
    USCIS
    PO Box 805887
    Chicago, IL 60680-4120

    For express mail and courier deliveries:
    USCIS
    Attn: FBAS
    131 South Dearborn- 3rd Floor
    Chicaho, IL 60603-5517

    Same addresses also used for some casess in the following categories:

    (c)(9)

    Same addresses as above used in case of Pending family based Form I-485 pursuant to Section 245 of the INA pending, and you filed your application with the USCIS Chicago Lockbox, and your receipt number begins with "MSC", or you filed with the Immigration Judge

    (c)(10)
    Applicant for Section 244 Suspension of Deportation or 240A Cancellation of Removal (applicants who are NOT eligible for NACARA 203 Relief)

    (c)(14)
    Deferred Action Granted


  • (a)(14), (a)(15), (c)(22), (c)(24)

    USCIS Lockbox Adresses:

    For U.S. Postal Service:
    USCIS
    PO Box 7219
    Chicago, IL 60680-7219

    For Express Mail and Courier service:
    USCIS
    Attn: VKL
    131 South Dearborn- 3rd Floor
    Chicago, IL 60680-7219


  • (a)(3), (a)(4), (a)(5), (a)(6), (a)(7), (a)(8), (a)(9), (a)13), (a)(17),(a)(18), (c)(2), (c)(3)(i), (c)(3)(ii), (c)(3)(iii), (c)(5), (c)(6), (c)(17)(i),(c)(17)(ii), (c)(17)(iii), (c)(20)

    USCIS Lockbox Adresses:

    If you live in the following states:
    Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Guam, or the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands

    For U.S. Postal Service:
    USCIS
    PO Box 21281
    Phoenix, AZ 85036

    For Express mail and courier service deliveries:
    USCIS
    Attn: AOS
    1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S
    Suite 100
    Phoenix, AZ 85034

    If you live in the following states:
    Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, U.S. Virgin Islands, or West Virginia

    For U.S. Postal Service:
    USCIS
    PO Box 660867
    Dallas, TX 75266

    For Express mail and courier service:
    USCIS
    Attn: AOS
    2501 S State Hwy. 121, Business
    Suite 400
    Lewisville, TX 75067

    Same addresses also used for some casess in the following categories:

    (c)(9)

    Pending Employment Based Form I-485 Application to Adjust Status pursuant to Section 245 of the INA

    (c)(10)
    Applicant for Special Rule Cancellation of Removal under NACARA

  • (a)(11)
    File according to the most recent Federal Register notice for your countery's DED order.

  • (c)(1)
    Department of State

  • (c)(4)
    Department of State/United States Mission to the UN (alien's sponsoring organization)

  • (c)(7)
    Submit your application through your principal's sponsoring organization. Your application will be reviewed and forwarded by DOS, USUN, or NATO/SACLANT.

  • (c)(8)
    If you are an asylum applicant under special ABC filing instructions and your are filing your asylumn and EAD applications together, mail to the USCIS Service Center where you are filing your asylum application.

    Otherwise, file it to the USCIS Phoenix or Dallas Lockbox, based on where you live (See address below).

  • (c)(9)
    If you filed your I-485 application with the USCIS Chicago Lockbox facility, file your Form I-765 with the following address (if you filed your Form I-485 with a USCIS service center, see instructions below):

    USCIS Lockbox Addresses:

    For United States Postal Service (USPS) deliveries:
    USCIS
    P.O. Box 805887
    Chicago, IL 60680-4120

    For private courier (non-USPS) deliveries: USCIS
    Attn: FBAS
    131 S Dearborn-, 3rd Floor
    Chicago, IL 60603-5517

    Otherwise, if you filed I-485 with a USCIS service center, you must file Form I-765 at the Arizona Service Center or Texas Service Center, depending on where you live.

  • c(19)
    See instructions in the Federal Register notice for your country's TPS designation.

e-Filing
EAD application I-765 can either be filed as paper application or eFiling.
e-Filing instructions

People would normally think that e-Filing would be more efficient and would provide faster adjudication of the applications. However, there is practically no difference between the e-Filing and paper filling of I-765, as the application will be adjudicated in the order of receipt. (You would save only 1 or 3-4 days of postal delivery time when applying online.) As online filing requires additional trips to ASC for photographing and fingerprinting, and it also requires submission of required documentation by mail after filing the application online, it does not provide much incentive.

I-140/I-485 Concurrent filing
There are several specific rules that apply for issuance of EAD for those who file concurrent I-140/I-485 applications.
  • An applicant can apply for an EAD either along with an I-485 application or any time after that as long as an I-485 application is pending. If the EAD is not issued by USCIS service center within 90 days, an applicant can obtain interim EAD at the local district office.
  • The 90 day clock stops ticking when the service center issues RFE for initial evidence with reference to the underlying I-140.When the requested initial evidence is received by the service center, the 90 day clock starts to run all over again. Previously suspended time does not count in counting the new 90 days.
  • EAD is issued "valid from the date of decision" and does not retroactively go back to the expiration date of the current EAD, if you are renewing EAD. If there is a gap between two EADs, and if the applicant works during that period, that would be considered as an unauthorized employment.
Keeping the above rules in mind, it is advisable to file an EAD along with filing I-485 application, even if you have a valid/unexpired H1/L1 visa. Just getting an EAD does not put you in EAD status, but using it does. Please look at EAD/AP vs. H/L for more information. In case the person is laid off and in case the person is eligible for AC 21 and new employer is willing to do AC 21, but not willing to file new H1 petition, EAD would be very useful. In case the person reaches 6 years limit on H1B, in that case also, EAD would be very useful.

Social Security Number
If you are planning to work based on EAD and if you don't already have a Social Security Number (or if you have and it is not valid for work which would be the case if you received SSN on an H4/L2 before the rule was changed not to issue SSN to H4/L2 etc. visa holders), you need to apply for the Social Security Number before you can work. You should take your EAD card and passport with you.

Find out here how to get Social Security Number.
Download fillable(type in) form.

Post Issuance
Renewal EAD:
Eligible persons can apply for renewal of EAD before or after the expiration of previous EAD issued under the same category.

You can NOT apply for the renewal of EAD more than 120 days before the original EAD expires.

Procedure for filing the renewal of EAD is the same as new EAD, except that you need to provide the copy (front and back) of previous EAD while applying.

Interim EAD:
If you have not received a decision within 90 days (30 days asylum based application) of receipt of a properly filed EAD application on or after Jan 4, 1995, you can get an interim EAD by appearing in person at a USCIS local office. You must bring proof of your identity and any notices that you have received from USCIS regarding your EAD application, such as EAD application receipt notice.

Interim EAD will be granted for a period not to exceed 240 days and is subject to the conditions noted on the document.

Replacement EAD:
It can be issued to an eligible applicant when the previously issued EAD has been lost, stolen, mutilated, or contains erroneous information, such as a misspelled name.