Pending Green Card Application – Can You Work?

If you haven’t become a permanent resident yet, you can work with an employment authorization document, Form I-765.

This is available only if you are in the process of Adjustment of Status and your Green Card application is pending. Adjustment of status is a process by which you can change your status from temporary to the permanent resident while in the United States. If someone is not eligible for adjustment of status, he has to go through consular processing, which takes place outside the U.S.

Adjustment of Status and EAD

You can apply for an EAD by filing Form I-765 with a copy of the receipt notice of the Application for Adjustment of Status, Form I-485. Form I-765 can be filed at the same time as Form I-485.

If you are renewing your EAD while your adjustment status is approved and you have a National interest Waiver Physician petition, you have to submit documents that prove your progress.

Adjustment of Status

You can adjust your status through a family-based immigrant petition, Form I-130, or through an employment-based immigrant petition, Form I-140. There are other ways of adjusting your status, but they are less common: These include the categories for special classes of immigrants and immigrants in humanitarian programs.

You will file Form I-485 at the same time as your I-130 or I-140.

Form I-765

Form EAD is used for certain foreign nationals who are in the U.S. for a temporary period of time. The document is valid for one year. The following are the required documents when applying for an EAD:

  • Form I-765 and filing fee
  • Copy of Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record (front and back)
  • Copy of your last EAD, if applicable
  • Two identical color passport-style photographs (taken in the last 30 days)

Here are the eligible categories for an EAD:

  1. The Asylee/Refugee Category
  2. The Nationality Category
  3. A Foreign Student
  4. Eligible Dependent of employees of diplomatic missions, International organization, or NATO
  5. Employment-based nonimmigrant category
  6. Family-based nonimmigrant category
  7. Adjustment of Status category
  8. EAD applicant who has filed for adjustment of status
  9. Other special categories such as Deferred Action, T-1 nonimmigrant, VAWA self-petitioners.
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