EAD Renewal: A Comprehensive Overview
EAD is the abbreviation for Employment Authorization Document, and it is something that concerns those that choose to migrate to the US. You might already know by now that the law system regarding the working rights of immigrants are continually changing. And it may be a bit confusing and overwhelming to keep up. This is why we’ve created this guide focusing on EAD renewal, as this is something that might turn out helpful during your stay in the US.
What Is Employment Authorization
Basically, EAD has to do with getting employment authorization. It is through this document that you are given the legal right to get a work permit in the US. As an employer in the US, one has to ensure that all his/her employees have the right to work in the US, irrespective of their national origin or citizenship.
In essence, when an employer intends to hire a new employee, one is required to fill out a form – namely the form I-9. This form aims at verifying the eligibility of the applicant to work in the US. EAD effectively grants authorization to pursue a job as an immigrant in the US.
It’s worth noting that the validity of the EAD is limited. Usually, this authorization is valid for two years’ time. This will most likely also depend on the category where you applied.
To get an idea, the EAD is a card, which looks pretty similar to a driver’s license or a credit card. Usually, this document includes your name, a photograph, and the expiration date of your eligibility to legally work in the US.
How Can EAD Be Extended?
When your EAD has expired or is due to expire, you can choose to extend it. What you have to do to in this respect is apply for EAD renewal. The process is quite similar to the initial steps you followed when you first applied for EAD. However, in order to pursue these steps, you should first ensure that you are still eligible to do so.
How to Apply for EAD Renewal
Moving on to what you have to do to pursue EAD renewal, you can apply for renewal either before or after your existing EAD has expired. Nevertheless, note that you cannot start the EAD renewal application process sooner than 180 days before your existing authorization expires.
The main difference between the steps you had to follow when you first applied for EAD and applying for an EAD renewal is the fact that you also have to supply a copy of your former authorization. The copy should be both front and back.
In addition to that, you must submit a form – I-765. Most likely, you will be required to pay for a filing fee, but this might not be the case – it depends.
Before Your EAD Renewal
On a different note, what should your checklist be prior to renewing your EAD? There are several steps you should factor in, to ensure that everything goes smoothly, as planned. We have included a few guidelines that might be helpful prior to your EAD renewal.
Know Your EAD’s Expiration
Basically, you cannot start the EAD renewal process unless you know when your authorization is likely to expire, can you? Usually, the validity of this document ranges from one to two years. The expiration date is easily visible on the front of your card.
Start Renewal Early
Another tip that will definitely make your life easier would be to start everything early, as opposed to leaving it on the last minute. Official paperwork may take time, and if you are a busy person, then make sure you consider this.
You may start as early as 180 days prior to the expiration date of your existing work authorization. In the ideal scenario, you should submit the application per se at least 90 days before the date of expiration. This is because it can take a while until you actually get the new card.
Basically, you have to complete a form and you can find it here.
Collect Your EAD Renewal Documents
Next thing you have to do is, of course, start collecting the required documentation for the EAD renewal process. The application process entails several documents, as follows:
- A front and back copy of your former EAD.
- A front and back copy of your form I-94, which is actually the record of your non-immigrant arrival/departure.
- Two passport-sized photos. They should be taken roughly 30 days before the actual date of the application. You may also consider writing your alien number and name on the back of the photos.
Applying for EAD Renewal
Now, let’s focus a bit on the actual application process. Here are the main steps you should follow for a stress-free experience.
You have to start with filing the form I-765 we have already mentioned. This form is a one-page document consisting of key information that aims at verifying your identity.
Essentially, you should provide an answer to each question, even if your answer is none or NA. The first questions – from one to eight – require you to include pretty basic information, such as your full name and your address. The next questions are more comprehensive, requiring you to provide more details.
For example, under question 9, you have to include all the social security numbers you have used until the present time. For question 10, in the case in which you don’t have an A-number (Alien Registration Number), you should use your I-94 number instead. Make sure you double check everything you have received from the US Immigration Agency – namely all the correspondence, as it may include the A-number.
Under question 16, you are required to include a given alphanumeric code, which displays your eligibility status. Make sure you thoroughly read all the info included in the forms, to ensure that you find the correct number for your category.
Pay Your Filing Fee
We’ve already mentioned that there is a fee you must pay for the EAD renewal process. You can pay it by personal check or money order. In case you choose to make the payment by check, ensure that the check is dated and signed correctly – otherwise, it won’t be processed.
Meanwhile, the citizens from the following countries don’t have to pay the fee: Micronesia, Palau, and Marshall Island.
File Your Renewal Form
The actual paper application should be sent to the filling address of your corresponding category. You can determine your category by visiting this source. Nevertheless, as a rule of thumb, prior to sending your paperwork, it’s best to make a copy of your application.
In order to get notified when your application for EAD renewal has been accepted, you can complete the form G-1145. You should attach this to the front of your application. This way, you will be sent a text or an email notification when the application has been processed.
After You Apply for EAD Renewal
After applying for EAD renewal, is there anything else you should do but wait? Yes, here is an outline of the next steps.
Receive Your New EAD Card within 90 Days
Once you finish with the application process, you have to wait to get the card. This usually takes up to 90 days. Before the document is sent out to you, you will be notified that it has been processed.
Request an Interim EAD Card
In case the USCIS doesn’t make a final decision regarding your application within the specified time frame, you have the possibility of requesting an Interim EAD Card. You can apply for this document at a USCIS office. The validity of this document is of 240 days.
Prior to visiting a USCIS office, it’s best to make an appointment at your local office. At the office, you should have a document verifying your identity. In addition to that, you should have the Receipt Notice indicating that your application has a pending status for over 90 days.
Track Your EAD
After the approval of your application, your card will be printed. Afterward, you will receive the USCIS via the US postal office. Usually, each card comes with a tracking number that you can use to track down when your EAD will arrive. You can always request tracking information from the customer service department at USCIS.
All things considered, when broken down, the process of EAD renewal doesn’t seem as complicated as you might assume at first glance, does it? As long as you follow the steps we included in this guide, you will find it easy to get your EAD renewed. Make sure you check our website for other useful guides on topics of interest. One more thing – if you are ever in need of financing, Stilt has plenty of options that are designed specifically to address the needs of foreigners living in the US.