“Work permit” is the frequently used name for your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and is issued by the U.S. Citizenship Immigration Services (USCIS). If your work permit is about to expire, you will need to know how to renew a work permit to stay employed in the United States.
If your work permit has expired, the USCIS requires you to apply for Employment Authorization Card renewal using Form I-765. You should apply as soon as possible because it can take 90 days or more for the USCIS to process your application.
How Often Do Work Permits Expire?
The length of your work permit will depend on the type of visa you’re in the U.S. on or your current immigration status. Most work permits expire one year after they were issued. However, no individual will be granted an EAD card for longer than they are allowed to stay in the U.S.
You can verify if your work permit is valid by checking the expiration date printed on the front of your EAD card.
It’s vital to keep track of your EAD’s expiration date because if it expires, you might lose your job or be arrested in an immigration raid. Therefore, it’s best to apply for a replacement EAD as soon as possible, though the USCIS recommends not sooner than 180 days before the expiration of your original EAD.
Automatic EAD Card Renewals
Certain applicants will be allowed to renew their EAD cards if their stay has been prolonged or lasts for a more extended period than the original work permit.
USCIS will process an automatic update for some petitioners who:
- Correctly filed their renewal EAD Card prior to their current work permit expiring. This means you do not have to stop working if your renewal process is not completed by your expiration date.
- Your EAD is under a category that qualifies for an automatic work permit extension (i.e., refugees and asylees).
What if My Work Permit Expires Before I Receive My Renewal
- Sometimes, a receipt may serve as a document pending issuance of new work authorization, for example:
- A receipt for a renew document when the document has been lost, stolen, or damaged.
- A Form I-94 containing a temporary I-551 stamp and a photograph of the individual, which is considered a receipt for the Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card
- A Form I-94 containing an unexpired refugee admission stamp.
- In certain instances, an expired work permit can satisfy the re-verification requirement, such as if you have Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”)
Form I-765 Supporting Documentation
Like nearly all immigration forms, the government will require you to complete your Form I-765 application with supporting documentation. Supporting documents show that you have the grounds to apply for certain immigration benefits.
In most cases, the USCIS requests copies of your supporting documents rather than originals.
What Supporting Documents Are Required?
Different Form I-765 supporting documentation may be required depending on how you got your work authorization. Here are the general requirements:
- A copy of your previous EAD
- Copies of the supporting documents you used to get your previous EAD
- Copy of your Form I-94, Nonimmigrant Arrival/Departure Record, a printout of your electronic Form I-94
- A copy of your passport or other travel documents
- Two passport-style photos
- USCIS Form G-28 if an attorney or another accredited individual represents you
In addition to the above general requirements, there are additional supporting documents required depending on the category of work authorization that applies to you.
If your documents are in a language other than English, you should also attach an English translation and translator certification to verify that:
- The translation is accurate and complete.
- The translator is competent to translate the documents into English.
How Much Does It Cost to Renew My Work Permit?
As of May 2021, the USCIS filing fee for Form I-765 is $410 for renewals in general. Some applicants, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and asylum seekers, will need to pay an additional $85 fee for biometric services.
A biometrics appointment will be scheduled that involves fingerprinting, photographs, signature checks, and other processes to verify your identity.
How Can I Pay My Work Permit Filing and Biometrics Fees?
You can pay your fees with a personal check, a cashier’s check, or a money order. Your checks should be made out to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
To make a credit card payment, use Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions, when paying at a USCIS Lockbox facility. Note that your local service center cannot process credit card payments.
When you file your work permit directly, your filing and biometric services charges are considered final and will not be refunded by the government.
FileRight Can Help You Submit Your Work Permit
Be careful and take your time when filling out Form I-765. If you accidentally enter incorrect information, your application may be rejected, you’ll lose your filing and biometric services fees, and further delay your replacement work permit.
FileRight can assist you in preparing your Form I-765 with self-help software that double-checks your work, helping you avoid costly errors. We also provide custom filing instructions and a complete money-back guarantee (including government fees) if your immigration application is denied by the USCIS.
Please take our EAD qualification quiz to determine if you’re eligible to apply for a work permit renewal.