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Form I-765 is the Application for Employment Authorization. Generally, it’s used by foreign nationals in the United States with certain nonimmigrant visas or pending immigration applications that allow for temporary employment during their adjudication period. Form I-765 is used to:
• Request your first work permit
• Request replacement of a lost/stolen/damaged work permit
• Request renewal of an expired or expiring work permit
U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, conditional permanent residents and nonimmigrants authorized to be employed with a specific employer do not need a work permit.
Additionally, applicants must belong to a specific eligibility category. This is a lengthy list that can be found by reviewing the instructions for Form I-765 on the USCIS website or by taking the eligibility quiz on the CitizenPath website.
Candidates applying under deferred action or deferred action of childhood arrivals (known as DACA) will also need to complete the I-765WS worksheet that establishes economic need for a work permit. This is a simple worksheet that can be completed fairly easily.
Once you have a work permit, it is valid for one year. In some cases it may be valid longer. You will need to renew it within 120 days before its expiration date.
If you have been arrested or convicted of a crime or offense, you should consult with an immigration attorney before filing Form I-765.
People with straight forward cases can usually file by themselves. CitizenPath, a company developed by immigration attorneys, makes filing for a work permit quick and easy. Simply select Form I-765 from the menu and follow the step-by-step instructions. It’s also free to try.