Work Authorization Document (EAD)
A Work Authorization Document (EAD), also known as an Employment Authorization Document, is a document issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that allows a non-U.S. citizen to work legally in the United States for a specific period of time. An EAD is usually issued to individuals who are in the process of obtaining a green card or who have certain types of temporary visas.
To obtain an EAD, an individual must file an application with the USCIS and meet certain eligibility criteria. The specific eligibility criteria can vary depending on the individual’s immigration status and the reason for their application.
For example, individuals who are applying for adjustment of status to become a lawful permanent resident (LPR) can typically apply for an EAD at the same time. Individuals who have certain types of temporary visas, such as an F-1 student visa or a H-1B work visa, may also be eligible for an EAD if they meet certain criteria, such as experiencing a financial hardship.
Once an individual receives an EAD, they can work for any employer in the United States who is willing to hire them. EADs are typically valid for one or two years, but they can be renewed if the individual is still eligible.
It is important to note that an EAD does not grant an individual any immigration status or permanent residency in the United States. It simply allows them to work legally for the duration of the EAD’s validity. Individuals who wish to remain in the U.S. for a longer period of time or who wish to obtain permanent residency must apply for other forms of immigration status, such as a green card.