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How Long Does an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) Last in the U.S.?

When foreigners decide to work, study, or do business in the United States for an extended period or when they decide to become immigrants and pursue legal residency, it doesn’t take long for them to realize this is a country of extensive identity verification and documentation. American immigration laws beget rules, and many of these regulations are accompanied by bureaucratic processes that may include registrations, filings, petitions, and procuring documents. This is certainly the case with work permits, which sometimes require the issuance of Employment Authorization Documents (EADs).

Who Needs an EAD Card?

EAD cards are issued to foreigners who are eligible to work in the U.S. for defined periods. Not all foreigners require EADs to work, particularly individuals who seek to establish residency on a temporary or permanent basis, but in some cases, foreign students may need to obtain these permits for the purpose of completing academic programs.

Non-immigrants who are granted visas with the specific intention of getting jobs in the U.S. don’t need to apply for EAD cards. For example, a JavaScript programmer from Brazil who has been sponsored by a California tech firm under the H-1B visa program can get a social security card and start working. On the other hand, a foreigner who is applying for a green card on the basis of family-based immigration is eligible to work in the U.S. but can only start doing so after getting an EAD card.

When Do EAD Cards Expire?

For the most part, EAD cards have an expiration date of a year after issuance. Nonetheless, some cases will have longer effective periods. For example, an immigrant who arrived under Temporary Protected Status may receive an EAD card with an expiration date that matches when his or her status will be reviewed, renewed, or terminated. Even in these cases, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has been known to issue EAD cards valid for only a year simply by virtue of repetition. Some will argue that issuing all EADs for a year would help the USCIS keep track of immigrants, but this puts the burden of renewal on the applicants. These cards aren’t meant to be used for reentry purposes, so there’s no need to show them to Customs and Border Patrol agents.

How Much Does It Cost to Get an EAD Card?

As of late 2019, the filing fee that should be remitted along with the Form I-765 petition for EAD cards is $410. There’s an additional biometric services fee of $85. This is a good reason to argue in favor of extending expiration dates or speeding up other petitions that would result in conditional residence permits. Applicants should keep in mind that submitting incorrect information on the I-765 petition could delay the process, and this could complicate employment interviews or the ability to continue working at particular jobs. If you need help obtaining a work permit or extending your EAD card, contact San Diego immigration lawyers to discuss your options.

If you need information on any aspect of immigration services in San Diego, CA, contact KS Visa Law today. From family immigration law to naturalization, we can address all your immigration-related needs. Call 858-874-0711 to schedule an appointment.

February 2020
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