Can I Work with EAD Approval Notice?

Updated on April 10, 2024

At a Glance

  • A Social Security Number (SSN) is a nine-digit number issued by the government to eligible U.S. residents and citizens.
  • It is important for tracking earnings, taxation, and benefits.
  • An SSN is obtained by applying through Form SS-5.
  • It is used for employment verification, opening accounts, applying for loans, and other official purposes.

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.

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?

No. 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 an 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 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.

Read More

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. What Is an EAD Approval Notice?

An EAD Approval Notice, also known as Form I-797, Notice of Action, is a document issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to confirm the approval of an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) application. It serves as proof that you are authorized to work legally in the United States.

2. Can I Work with an EAD Approval Notice?

Yes, you can work with an EAD Approval Notice, provided that it is valid and covers the period during which you plan to work. The EAD Approval Notice specifies the start and end dates of your employment authorization. It is essential to ensure that your EAD is still valid and has not expired before you begin working in the U.S.

3. Can I Start a New Job with an EAD Approval Notice?

You can start a new job with an EAD Approval Notice as long as it is valid and relevant to the job you are taking. The EAD Approval Notice may have specific conditions or categories that limit the type of work you can engage in. Ensure that the job aligns with the terms and conditions specified on your EAD.

4. Do I Need the Physical EAD Card to Start Working?

While the physical EAD card is the standard proof of employment authorization, in some cases, an EAD Approval Notice can serve as a temporary document to initiate employment. However, many employers may prefer to see the physical EAD card as it provides more tangible proof of your work eligibility. It is advisable to consult with your employer regarding their specific requirements.

5. Can I Renew My EAD with an EAD Approval Notice?

You cannot renew your EAD with an EAD Approval Notice. To renew your EAD, you must submit a new EAD application to USCIS before your current EAD expires. It is crucial to initiate the renewal process well in advance to avoid any interruption in your work authorization.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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