I-765: Application for Employment Authorization

What is I-765 Form?

Applicants who seeking to work in the U.S. must file a Form I-765 to request an employment authorization. Foreign nationals seeking to work in the U.S. legal must obtain an employment authorization document (EAD). EAD is also known as a work permit.

Depending on the work situation, EAD type issued to applicants may vary. For example, I-140 EAD is issued to academic profession. You should check the eligibility category (question 16) in I-765 instruction to ensure you qualify for a work permit.

Once an EAD is issued, the permit will specify the period of time the applicant can legally work for. The duration is primarily based on the applicant’s immigration status. Once an EAD is expired, you can file an additional I-765 to renew your work permit. You can find a copy of I 765 form at the USCIS site.


What are I-765 Instructions?

I-765 is a 19 question application. Depending on the answers to questions, applicants must submit appropriate supporting documents. In addition to variations in the supporting documents, filing address will vary based on the eligibility category.

Also note if you are filing I-765 along with other forms, your filing will depend on the other form. For example, an applicant filing I-765 and I-539 will follow instructions on Form I-539. If you are only filing I-765, filing instruction and address will be one of the following categories:

  • Asylees/refugees and their spouses and children
  • Categories based on nationality
  • Foreign Students
  • Eligible dependents of employees of diplomatic missions, international organizations, or NATO
  • Employment-based nonimmigrants
  • Family-based nonimmigrants
  • If You Have a Pending Adjustment of Status Application
  • Other

Check filing instructions for I-765 to find out the mailing address.


What is the I-765 Fee?

Total cost of submitting a request for an EAD is $495. Filing fee for Form I-765 is $410, and biometric service fee is $85. Biometric fee is charged only if you apply under the following eligibility categories:

  • Request under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
  • A beneficiary of an approved employment-based immigrant petition under compelling circumstances
  • A spouse or unmarried dependent child of a beneficiary of an employment-based immigrant petition under compelling circumstances

Also, applicants under circumstances can file a fee waiver form (I-912) to waive the filing and biometric fees. An example of valid circumstance is an individual living at or below 150% of federal poverty guidelines. Please note if you are filing under DACA, you cannot waive the fees.