Work Permit Renewal Guide

Updated on April 10, 2024

At a Glance

  • A work permit is a document that allows immigrants to work in the United States, obtained through visas such as work visas.
  • Work permits typically have varying validity periods, usually one or two years, and can be renewed before expiration.
  • The renewal process involves filing an application, providing supporting documents, attending a biometrics appointment, and paying a fee.
  • Renewal should be initiated about four months before the permit expires to avoid a gap in employment authorization.

When you obtain a work permit that allows you to work in the U.S., you will have to renew it at one point, because the EAD is not given for a permanent period. So, you will have to make sure that you renew the EAD after some time has passed if you want to still be able to work in the United States. How long does the work permit validity last and when should you file for a work permit renewal? This article will tell you everything you need to know about renewing your work permit.

What Is a Work Permit?

A work permit is a document that allows an immigrant to work in the United States. There are different visas that one can use in order to enter the U.S., such as marriage, student, visit, and, lastly, work visas. Once you step on U.S. land, you will want to do something to make money to support yourself and your family. If you’re lucky enough to have a visa that lets you get a job, all you will have to do afterward is file for an I-765, also known as an employment authorization application.

It is possible to have some skills and the academic qualifications necessary for getting a job. But getting employed will be much harder if you lack an EAD. Since you’re an immigrant, you will not be able to get the job you desire without having the EAD. It is an important document as it is given by the United States of Citizenship and Immigration Services and it is your permission to work in the country.

How Long Is a Work Permit Valid?

Validity for work permits will vary from one case to another because each applicant will be in different situations. USCIS tends to offer immigrants EADs depending on the applicant’s underlying nonimmigrant status validity. For the most part, you will see EADs offered for one year, after which the immigrant has the option to renew it before it expires. But even the work permit renewals will depend on the status.

There is a possibility for an EAD to be issued for a period of up to two years, but this is only possible for applicants for the green card adjustment of status who cannot adjust their status because there is no immigrant visa number available. In order to be able to obtain the 2-year validity EAD, the applicant has to submit an I-140 petition. This must be approved beforehand. Other categories of applicants who can get a 2-year validity EAD are asylum applicants.

Employment Authorization Document (I-765) Renewal

The I-765 EAD will come with several conditions, as does any other application that has some relation to the Department of Homeland Security. Before it expires, it will also be subject to renewal since there is an expiration date. What is important to know is that the process may get delayed if you do not apply early enough, and this is all because of how long the process takes in general. If your present EAD will run its course before you complete the process for the renewed one, it can cost you quite a lot of money.

When you start renewing your work permit, it involves filing an application form while also bringing some supporting proof with it. On top of that, you will have to attend a biometrics appointment and then pay a filing fee. It is very important to ensure that you are always carefully following the instructions when filing for an EAD renewal, as it can influence the amount of time the process takes to unfold.

When to File for Work Permit Renewal

As mentioned, the work permit is valid for one or two years, so you will have to apply for a renewal starting 4 months before the work permit expires. The expiration date of the EAD can be discovered by looking at the front of the card.

Bear in mind that you can also apply online if you want, in which case you can either simply do everything on the Internet or download it and complete it manually. You should also be careful, as you want to file the latest version of the I-756, and there might be outdated versions on the site too. Pay attention to this matter.

Also, even if you are an AOS applicant who works with an EAD, you should still apply for renewal very soon. Even if you know that it won’t take long for the green card to be done before the expiration of the permit, something unexpected may still happen. This would only push the green process further away than expected, which will keep you waiting for longer. Not having authorization will not allow you to work.

How to File I-765 Form

When renewing your EAD, you need to do the same things that you did when applying for the first document. You will have to file Form I-765 with these documents:

  • Two passport photographs; these must be identical
  • A copy of your present EAD
  • Evidence of a pending AOS petition with USCIS if you are an I-485 green card adjustment of status applicant
  • A government-issued identity document copy
  • An I-94 form copy, as well as a print-out of the electronic form, your passport, or any potential travel document that you own
  • G-28 form in case an accredited representative or attorney represents you

Difference Between Work Permit Renewal and Replacement

Work permit replacement and renewal are two different things. A renewal occurs when your present EAD is just about to expire or is not valid anymore, and you are still eligible to get employed. Meanwhile, a replacement will happen when your EAD has any incorrect information or in case your employment authorization is destroyed, lost, or stolen.

I-756 Employment Authorization Renewal Processing Time

From the day you submit your application form, USCIS has up to 90 days to process it. To make sure it will get processed earlier, you should make sure you start the process about 4 months before the expiration date. Don’t do it before the expiration date, though. When you apply earlier, you will be able to get it processed on time and then complete it before the current work permit expires.

Your form must include your purpose for filing it. You should also enter all the required information, submit an EAD copy and then append your signature after filing the form. This will help speed up the process.

What If My EAD Renewal Application Is Denied?

Having your renewal application denied means you will not be able to work in the U.S. When you get the denial, the USCIS will also send you a notice specifying why the denial occurred. You will have to talk to an immigration lawyer to see what you can do next. You have the option to file a motion to reconsider or reopen the decision.

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A work permit renewal will be necessary if you want to work in the U.S. for the following period as well as an immigrant. Make sure you apply very early for the renewal, about 4 months before the expiration, so you can make sure it’s done processing by the time your current one expires.

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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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