Having an Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766/EAD) is a way to prove that you are allowed to work in the United States for a specific time period.
To request an EAD, you must file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.
You will need to apply for an EAD if you:
- Are authorized to work in the United States because of your immigration status (for example, you are an asylee, refugee, or U nonimmigrant) and need evidence of that employment authorization, or
- Are required to apply for permission to work; in other words, you need to request employment authorization itself. For example:
- You have a pending Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.
- You have a pending Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal.
- You have a nonimmigrant status that allows you to be in the United States but does not allow you to work in the United States without first seeking permission from USCIS (such as an F-1 or M-1 student).
You do not need to apply for an EAD if you are a lawful permanent resident. Your Green Card (Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card) is evidence of your employment authorization. You also do not need to apply for an EAD if you have a nonimmigrant visa that authorizes you to work for a specific employer (for