We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is an Employment Authorization Document?

By Jodee Redmond
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

An Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is also known as a work permit. It gives an individual the right to work legally in the United States. The EAD is issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

The EAD is a plastic card that is approximately the same size as a credit card. Along with the bearer's name, the card indicates his or her date of birth, gender and immigrant category. The person's country of origin and alien registration number is also listed. Any restrictions or conditions on the terms of the EAD are included, along with the expiration date. The EAD card has the individual's photo on it as well.

Employers in the United States check to ensure that anyone they are hiring is legally authorized to work in the country. A person who is not a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident will need to apply for an Employment Authorization Document before being able to work legally. Examples of individuals who may be eligible to obtain an EAD are students who want to work while in the country, a person who is either married or engaged to a U.S. citizen or an individual who has applied for permanent resident status that has not yet been granted.

Those seeking asylum in the United States may apply for an Employment Authorization Document, but there may be a waiting period involved. If a decision has been made granting asylum, the person can apply for an EAD immediately. In a case where 150 days have passed from the date of the application and no decision has been made, the applicant for asylum can submit the paperwork for an EAD.

An application for an Employment Authorization Document can be obtained from the USCIS. Once the application has been completed, it is returned to the USCIS with the required filing fee for processing.

A person who is unable to pay the application fee can apply for a waiver. If the USCIS is satisfied, based on the information provided, that the applicant does not have the means to pay, his or her application will be processed without it. Being turned down for the fee waiver means the applicant for an EAD card must start the process and file his or her application again.

Applicants for an Employment Authorization card may file the papers themselves or have a licensed attorney do so for them. If an attorney is acting for the applicant, the USCIS must be formally advised by having the lawyer file a Notice of Appearance on behalf of the client. The USCIS accepts documents filed electronically or on paper from individuals or their legal representatives.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.