Can I Work with EAD Approval Notice?

Posted by Frank Gogol

Working in the United States is possible, but only with the proper documentation. It’s essential that all employers check that their employees have working authorization for the U.S. One such document is the EAD, but before you get your EAD card, you will get an approval notice. So, if your question is “Can I work with EAD approval notice?”, you will learn about it in this article.

What Is EAD?

EAD is short for Employment Authorization Document, and it is a permit offered by USCIS. It is meant as an employment authorization for non-citizens in the U.S., as it’s a work permit.

The document comes in the form of a card. Similar to the credit card you are used to, this permit will have your name, sex, birth date, photo, birth country, immigrant category, validity dates, card number and immigrant registration number listed. With that being said, the EAD has a term too – so, it won’t be valid forever and you will have to renew it at one point.

Renewing it can be done by submitting Form I-765 to USCIS, and a filing fee when required, at least as long as a fee waiver wasn’t requested and approved. Luckily, you can only file for an EAD renewal only 180 days before your current card expires.

Furthermore, an EAD shouldn’t be confused for a Green Card. Green Cards grant someone access to the U.S.

You should apply for EAD in case you need permission to work. Concurrently, you can apply for it if you are eligible to work in the U.S. due to your immigration status, but you need evidence of your employment eligibility.

With all that being said, EAD isn’t meant for lawful permanent residents. Having a nonimmigrant visa that works as an authorization, such as an O visa or an H-1B visa, also means that you will not need the EAD.

EAD Approval Notice (Form I-797C)

Form I-797C is a notice of action from the USCIS, which is usually sent to an applicant in order to communicate some necessary information. Basically, this notice is sent to inform you of a rejection, transfer, appointment, re-open or receipt.

The approval notice usually has the “THIS NOTICE DOES NOT GRANT ANY IMMIGRATION STATUS OR BENEFIT” header. It will also be printed on plain bold paper. Now, if you’ve applied for an EAD, then you will receive an approval notice from USCIS in case your form I-765 application is being accepted and processed.

Is Form I-797C Enough to Begin Working?

Even though you’ve received approval for your EAD application, it’s not enough to start working. It doesn’t prove anything to your employer, and it’s better to wait for your actual card before you start working.

If you look at the Form I-797 approval notice, it is clearly stated there that the document doesn’t serve as evidence for your work authorization. Therefore, you can’t use it yet. It is only in case the card isn’t delivered that you can present the receipt for the card, which makes you eligible to work for 90 days. Other than that, you must have the EAD card if you want to work.

Here you can find more about Form I-797C and what it looks like.

Form I-9 and Your Employer

Form I-9 is a document that employers use in order to verify your employment authorization and identity. Both citizens and non-citizens have to be included in the form and the document has to be completed properly. In order for this to be possible, you must give your employer some necessary documentation that proves your eligibility as a worker in the US. One of these documents is, of course, the EAD.

You should bear in mind that employers need to see your original EAD card, or a Form I-766, to make sure you have employment authorization. The permit should be shown within 3 days of your employment. But you never know how the card may be late or whether it may get lost, which is why it’s better to wait until you have the card. The approval notice alone won’t be enough evidence for completing Form I-9.

There are also cases when some employment authorization documents from the DHS (Department of Homeland Security) may be used for completing the I-9. They would work just like C#8 documents.

Some letters issued by USCIS may also help. That being said, the USCIS must mention somewhere in the letter that the document can be used as an employment authorization proof for a while. If the document is considered suitable, then an E-Verify employer or the Form I-9 employer can use the document accordingly.

If it doesn’t have that information, it won’t be suitable to use for I-9 completion. Simply put, if USCIS doesn’t state that the letter can really be used to prove your working eligibility, then it can’t be used as any proof.

If you want some information about the form I-9, you can find it here.

What to Do If Your EAD Card Is Not Delivered

Sometimes, applicants might not receive their cards. They may get lost through mailing, in which case it will take longer until you receive your document. This is when you should make an inquiry with USCIS and let them know that your card wasn’t delivered yet. However, you shouldn’t do it if you were just recently approved.

A period of about 120 days should be allowed to get your new card. It’s easy to check the status of your application on the USCIS site. In case it mentions that the card was mailed, then there should be a tracking number that tells you when the card is supposed to arrive and where it is at the moment.

In order to submit the inquiry for a non-delivered card, you should provide the date when you filed for it, the application that you filed, the receipt number and you should mention that you didn’t receive the item. In some cases, your A-number should be provided too.

What to Do If Your EAD Card Is Lost, Stolen or Destroyed

In some situations, you may lose your card, or it might get stolen or destroyed. Since it’s an important document, you will need a new one. Thankfully, this is possible by requesting a replacement from USCIS.

What you have to do to make this possible is to file a new Form I-765. The filing fee may be required too unless you request a fee waiver that gets approved as well. Afterward, your application will be analyzed and you should get your new card.

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If you were asking “Can I work with EAD approval notice?”, this article should have given you the answer. EAD approval notices are there just to confirm that your application for an EAD was approved, and they can’t be used as a working authorization. You need to wait until your EAD card is delivered, as the employer needs to document it in Form I-9 to make sure you are authorized to work for them. All in all, you just have to wait for your card, and in case you don’t receive it, you should submit an inquiry to USCIS.

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