Immigration Attorney Tips: What Is an EAD and How to Get It?

Getting a work permit in the USA might not be as difficult as you think, if you work with a reliable and seasoned immigration attorney. Below are a few things you need to keep in mind when applying for an EAD.

What is an EAD?

Also called an Employment Authorization Document, this is a photo identity card that proves your right to work or seek employment in the US, as a non-citizen. Work permits are chiefly used by people who have a temporary permit of residence within the United States. So, they basically apply to people on a student visa, with temporary protected status, accompanying their spouse on a business or exchange visitor visa.

How is EAD application done?

You can apply for a work permit on a special form, called Form I-765 which is customarily issued by USCIS.

Are there other work certificates in place?

Your immigration attorney will tell you that an EAD is not the same as an LC, which is basically a labor certificate. Both of these document are legal ways of obtaining work within the US. However, they are not the same thing. LC is a type of application that US employers are to file with the US Labor Department on behalf of a foreign worker. This would constitute the first step in sponsoring that person for a green card application.

In this case, the employer has to be able to prove that he has previously attempted to find similar employees in the US and was unable to. The U.S. employer then has to certify to the Labor Department that no qualified U.S. workers applied for the foreign worker’s position. The foreign worker will have to file an adjustment of status with USCIS, as the next step of this process. So, if you want to pursue your employment in the US with a green card application, you need to have an approved LC, and this will be the kind of approval you need.

In this context, the EAD is more like a driver’s license and the only thing you will be able to prove is that you are employable within US grounds.

What are other special work permits that are given?

There are other people who can and are required by law to apply for a special “work permit” from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. These people are generally required to submit their application before they start working. Included in this category are fiances, foreign asilees, green card adjustment status holders, spouses of various visa holders, people with temporary protection from the US Government and students seeking work for economic reasons.