Work permit applications are incredibly important for both immigrants awaiting a green card in the United States, as well as non-immigrants seeking working authorization in the United States. In this blog, we will cover some of the basics of the I-765 application, as well as provide tips for those who are filing this application.
Recently, as it relates to USCIS processing times, work permit applications are currently backlogged due to Covid-19 (although there have been some minor improvements for some categories of applicants). Still, it is essential to file your work permit application as accurately as possible to avoid costly delays or possibly falling out of status.
Let’s review some common mistakes that applicants have made when filing the I-765:
1. Passport Style Photos
It doesn’t matter if you are applying for a work permit for the first time in the United States, or if you are renewing your work permit. In both cases, you need to supply the USCIS with two passport-style photos. The simplest way to do this is to go to a CVS, Walgreens, or UPS nearest where you live and request to have your passport photo taken. You should not attempt to provide the USCIS with any other style of photos other than a professional 2” by 2” photo that has been printed on a laminated sheet from one of the above providers. The cost for two passport style photos is usually around $15.
2. Specific Requirements per Filing Status
There is some confusion regarding a general “submission” guideline for the I-765 application. If you are applying for a green card and simultaneously filing your I-765 application, you don’t need to submit any additional information. However, if you are filing an I-765 after you have already submitted your I-485 application, then you do need to submit evidence of a pending I-485 i.e. a receipt notice.
For other categories of immigrants and non-immigrants filing an I-765, the most helpful resource you can use if you are unsure of what supplementary information you might need is found on the following USCIS link. Scroll through the page and select the appropriate drop-down menu that applies to your individual situation.
3. Asylum Cases
While refugees are automatically granted working authorization in the United States, those who have been granted asylum still need to apply for a work permit, and the process involves proof of ones I-94 record (digital version available on the CBP website), as well as the signed order from an immigration court that your asylum status was “Approved”. Note there is a difference between the USCIS approving your asylum application or an immigration judge. In the latter case, you need to satisfy the evidentiary requirements when filling out an I-765 application, whereas if the USCIS approves your application, they will send you an EAD within a few weeks. If you have lost or misplaced your official documents from the EOIR—Executive Office for Immigration Review, please use the following link for assistance: https://acis.eoir.justice.gov/en/. Make sure to have your A-Number ready.