Immigrants who are in the United States for temporary stay should file Form I765, application for employment authorization with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services or USCIS, to receive an EAD or Employment Authorization Document. The EAD is also known as work permit. U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, conditional permanent residents and non-immigrants who are authorized to work in the U.S. should not use Form I-765, application for employment authorization. You can work in the United States even while your Green Card application is pending.
If you want to work while your Green Card application is pending, you have to file Form I765, application for employment authorization along with your adjustment of status application. Along with Form I-765 you have to submit a copy of your I-94, Arrival Departure Card. On submitting your application with the USCIS, you should receive an Employment Authorization Card within 90 days. Once you have received the Employment Authorization Card you are eligible to work in the United States, even if your Green Card Application is pending.
If for some reason you do not receive the Employment Authorization Card within 90 days, you can request for an interim employment authorization on Form I765, which will be valid for 240 days. To receive an interim card, you have to file a request for interim work authorization on Form I765 at the USCIS service center. If 240 days pass and you still have not received a final decision on your I765 application you must stop working. Interim work authorization cards cannot be renewed. However, if you reach this point, you have the option to file a new application for employment authorization on Form I765. If you do not get a decision even on the new I765 application within 90 days, you will then be entitled to another interim work authorization card.
There is no filing fee for Form I765 when filed concurrently with Form I-485, Application for adjustment of status. It is recommended to file Form I765, Application for Employment Authorization and Form I-485, Adjustment of status application together which enables you to work while your Green Card application is pending and also facilitates easy processing of the application.
You can check the status of your Form I-765 online. If your application for employment authorization on Form I765 is denied, you will be send a letter from USCIS stating why your application was rejected. You are allowed to request the USCIS officers to reconsider your case.
Form I765 is used even for renewal of EAD, replacement of EAD and interim EAD. If you filed your adjustment of status application on or after July 30, 2007 and have paid the application fee for Form I-485, you are not required to pay any fee while requesting for employment authorization on Form I765. If you file Form I765 separately, then you should submit a copy of Form I-797C as an evidence of filing Form I-485, application for adjustment of status.