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Employment Authorization Attorneys in Woburn, Massachusetts

With the passage of the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) in 1986, employers in the U.S. were required to check the legal eligibility of new hires while those already on the payroll were exempted. This means that to work legally in the U.S., you must now prove your eligibility by completing an I-9 Form, Employment Eligibility Verification. 

As a result of IRCA, immigrants to this country must either enter with a work visa, achieve lawful permanent resident (LPR) status with a Green Card, or obtain what is called an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) in order to work here legally. 

If you’re an immigrant who needs to obtain an Employment Authorization Document in or around Woburn, Massachusetts, contact Corbaci Law, P.C. Our immigration attorneys will help you through the process, which can be complicated as you have to provide documents certifying your eligibility to obtain the card. We also serve clients in Boston, Marlborough, Framingham, and the rest of Massachusetts. 

Understanding Employment Authorization 

Immigration reform in 1986 tightened employment verification across the nation. U.S. citizens can rely on certain readily available documents such as a passport or Social Security card to help show their eligibility to work. Immigrants who lack a work visa, such as an H-1B, L-1B, O, or P visa, or who have not attained Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status with a Green Card, will have to apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). An EAD looks much like a driver’s license, but it allows the holder to legally work in the U.S. It is often referred to as a work permit. 

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Who Qualifies for an EAD? 

The EAD application form lists who qualifies for an Employment Authorization Document, which are: 

  • Asylees and Refugees and their dependents (spouse and children) 

  • Certain nationalities 

  • International students with an F-1 or M-1 visa 

  • Eligible dependents of employees from international organizations such as those in diplomatic missions or NATO 

  • Employment-based nonimmigrants such as a spouse of L-1 or E-1 visa holders 

  • Family-based non-immigrants such as those holding a K-1 fiancé(e) visa or a K-3 dependent visa 

  • Those who have applied for an adjustment of status (in other words, those seeking LPR status) 

How to Apply for an EAD 

The first step is to obtain Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The form lists the categories referred to above and provides instructions for what type of proof is needed for the category under which you are applying. You can either mail the form in or upload it through e-filing. 

What You Need to Provide with Your Application 

The supporting documents that are required will depend on a certain extent on the category under which you are filing. However, for the most part, everyone will have to provide the following: 

  • A copy of your passport, specifically the page with your photo 

  • Two passport-size photos 

  • Your I-94 travel record 

  • Copies of other work permits, if applicable 

  • Copy of your U.S. visa as stamped in your passport 

If you are applying for an EAD while you are also seeking a Green Card and LPR status, you will have to provide proof that you submitted Form I-485, Adjustment of Status. Another route is to apply for both the EAD and your Green Card at the same time.  

You will also need a Social Security number (SSN) to begin work, and fortunately, the EAD application allows you to apply for your SSN at the same time without visiting a Social Security office. 

What Happens Next 

The application review process generally takes 60 to 90 days, after which you should receive your EAD if you qualify. The EAD is actually called Form I-766 and is issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). 

EADs generally have an expiration date, so you should fill out a new Form I-765 six months before the expiration date to renew it unless you have achieved LPR status. You will also have to pay the filing fees once again unless you apply for and receive a fee waiver. If you lose your work permit, you also will need to reapply with Form I-765. 

Employment Authorization Attorneys Serving
Woburn, Massachusetts

As with everything involved in immigration, matters can become complex, and processes do not always run smoothly. If you forget to attach a certain document or make a mistake on the application form, everything will be delayed and you will have to correct any omissions or errors. It’s best to rely on the services of an experienced immigration attorney when filing for your EAD work permit. The attorneys at Corbaci Law, P.C. have helped countless others in your situation navigate the process to pursue the result they desired. We stand ready to help you, too. Reach out with all your immigration questions and concerns.