How to Renew Your EAD Card

Updated on April 10, 2024

At a Glance

  • An Employment Authorization Document (EAD) grants individuals the legal right to work in the US.
  • To renew an EAD, you must apply for EAD renewal before or after your existing authorization expires.
  • The process involves completing Form I-765, providing necessary documents, paying a fee of $140, and submitting the application.
  • The renewal typically takes 60-90 days to process, and you can continue working with your original approval notice while awaiting the new EAD card.

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 (EAD)?

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.

How Can EAD Be Renewed?

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.

EAD Renewal Process

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.

EAD Renewal Documents

To renew your work authorization, you will need to include a number of documents, including:

  • Copy of your former EAD (front and back)
  • Copy of your Form I-94 (front and back)
  • Two passport-sized photos, taken roughly 30 days prior to applying

How to Apply 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.

Complete Form I-765

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.

EAD Renewal Fee

The cost to renew your work authorization is the same as the cost of your initial EAD application – $140.

EAD Renewal Processing Time

Your EAD renewal application will take approximately 60-90 days to process. For EAD renewal, there is no option to expedite the application.

If you have your original approval notice from USCIS and your employer permits, you may continue working while your replacement application is being processed. Discuss this with your employer.

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.

Read More

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is an EAD Card?

An Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card, also known as a work permit, is a document issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that allows certain non-U.S. citizens to work legally in the United States.

When Should I Renew My EAD Card?

You should renew your EAD card well in advance of its expiration date. It’s advisable to start the renewal process at least 180 days before your current EAD card expires to avoid any interruption in your work authorization.

How Do I Renew My EAD Card?

To renew your EAD card, you typically need to file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, with USCIS. Make sure to submit the form, required supporting documents, and the appropriate filing fee.

Can I Continue Working While My EAD Card is Pending Renewal?

In many cases, you can continue working for up to 180 days after your EAD card’s expiration date while your renewal application is pending with USCIS, as long as you filed your renewal application on time.

What Documents Do I Need to Renew My EAD Card?

The required documents for EAD card renewal may vary based on your specific category. Generally, you will need to submit Form I-765, a copy of your previous EAD card (if applicable), a copy of your I-94 record, and any other documents as required for your specific situation.

How Long Does the EAD Card Renewal Process Take?

Processing times for EAD card renewals can vary. USCIS provides estimated processing times on their website. It’s essential to plan ahead and file your renewal early to avoid delays.

Can I Expedite the EAD Card Renewal Process?

In some cases, you may be eligible to request expedited processing of your EAD card renewal. USCIS considers requests based on specific criteria, such as severe financial loss or emergency situations.

Can I Renew My EAD Card Online?

As of my knowledge cutoff date in January 2022, USCIS does not offer online filing for EAD card renewals. You must submit a paper application by mail. Check the USCIS website for any updates on online filing options.

What Happens if My EAD Card Renewal is Denied?

If your EAD card renewal is denied, you may lose your work authorization. It’s crucial to review the denial notice and consult with an immigration attorney to explore options for reapplying or addressing the denial.

Can I Travel Internationally While My EAD Card is Renewing?

Traveling internationally while your EAD card renewal is pending can be risky. It’s recommended to consult with an immigration attorney before making any travel plans to ensure you can re-enter the U.S. without issues.

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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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