Attorney Tricia Wang
First Class Service

Do You Need an EAD?

Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) allow foreign nationals to work in the United States. There are many types of EADs granted under different categories, such as F1 OPT EADs Post-Completion OPT--(c)(3)(B), 24-Month Extension for STEM Students (Students With a Degree in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics)--(c)(3)(C), Spouse of an L-1 Intracompany Transferee--(a)(18), Spouse of an E-1 Treaty Trader, E-2 Treaty Investor--(a)(17), EADs for pending Asylum Applicants (c)(8), and EADs for adjustment of status applicants (c)(9), etc.

It is easy to fill out and file the application for EADs, i.e. USCIS Form I-765. Simply follow the form instructions and fill out the forms. Be careful to select and put down your correct eligibility category. For EAD renewals, it is advisable to file your EAD a few months early.

Automatic EAD Extensions

Some employment eligibility categories may receive automatic extensions of their expiring EAD for up to 180 days. The extension starts on your EAD expiration date and continues up to 180 days or until the renewal application is denied, whichever happens earlier. You may take advantage of automatic EAD extension only if you meet the following requirements:

  • - You have timely filed your EAD renewal application and the application remains pending;
  • - You are under the eligibility category of A03, A05, A07, A08, A10, C08, C09, C10, C16, C20, C22, C24, C31 and A12 or C19. Please check the USCIS Form I-765 instructions for any updates on the types of EAD that qualified for a 180-day automatic extension
  • - It will have to be for an EAD renewal, i.e. your current EAD and the EAD application you are filing are under the same eligibility code.

Your expired EAD together with the USCIS Receipt Notice (Form I-797C Notice of Action) showing that the EAD renewal application was timely filed, and showing the same qualifying eligibility category as that on the expired EAD, is an acceptable document for Form I-9 that is required by employer.

About the above last requirement for automatic EAD extension, we like to use an example for you to better understand it. We had a client who came in for consultation. He was a foreign student on F1 visa. He got married with a US citizen while he was on F1 OPT and they got help from a non-attorney immigration service agency. The agency helped him filed the adjustment of status application and application for travel permit, but told him that he does not need to apply for work permit (EAD) since he already have an EAD from his F1 OPT. Later he realized that he should apply for an EAD based on his adjustment of status application and filed one. Unfortunately he filed it too late and was not able to get his EAD in time before his F1 OPT EAD expired. He was not able to use the automatic EAD extension because the eligibility category for F1 OPT EAD code and the adjustment of status EAD code are not the same. This mistake almost jeopardized his job. This case proves once again that immigration matter is not just a matter of filling out forms.

Holding More Than One EADs

It is permitted for one person to have more than one EADs under different eligibility categories. In the above scenario, the applicant had an EAD under his F1 OPT, which has more restrictions such as limiting him to jobs that directly related to his academic major. In comparison, the Adjustment of Status EAD offers more flexibility by allowing the EAD holder to work for any employer, any job. Also, applying EAD with one’s adjustment of status application cost no extra fees, no extra USCIS filing fee, and no extra attorney fee – if you use our service!

Before making any immigration decision, EAD or non-EAD related, always check with your trusted immigration lawyer first! Call the Law Office of Tricia Wang at (510) 791-0232 or send us an email at to schedule an initial consultation with our lawyer regarding your family and immigration concerns. We will waive the consultation fee if we are retained by you for the case.

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