General Form I-765 instructions
Form I-765, also known as the Application for Employment Authorization, is used by eligible foreign nationals to request permission to work in the U.S.
This application is used to obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), also known as a work authorization card.
This EAD allows the foreign national to work in the U.S. and apply for a Social Security Number (SSN).
Let’s start with the general Form I-765 instructions:
- Current Edition of Forms: make sure that you are using the current edition of the form I-765. The most current edition is available on the USCIS website.
- Some categories of applicants are eligible to file Form I-765 online
- USCIS will reject any outdated editions of the form
- Sign and date the form
- Type or print legibly in black ink
- If you need extra space to complete any item in the I-765, go to Part 6 Additional Information. Indicate the Page Number, Part Number, and Item Number to which your answer refers.
- Answer all questions fully and accurately
- if an item is not applicable or the answer is “none,” type or print “N/A,” and it is recommended that you do so
- You must sign the form in ink. Stamped or typed signatures are not accepted
How to fill out Form I-764 step-by-step
Form I-765 is completed by the person applying for employment authorization.
For USCIS Use Only: leave it blank.
To be completed by an attorney or Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA)-accredited representative: leave it blank if you are not being represented by an attorney or representative.
Part 1. Reason for Applying
Questions 1.a.-1.c. – I am applying for: Check the appropriate box (1.a, 1.b, or 1.c) to indicate whether you are filing the I-765 to apply for:
- Initial EAD
- Applying to replace a lost, stolen, or damaged EAD
- To request a correction of an error on the EAD; or
- Apply to renew an EAD.
Check only one of the following boxes:
Box 1.a – Initial permission to accept employment.: Check box 1.a if you have never been previously issued an EAD in the same category. For example, if you have applied for an EAD in the past as an F-1 student but now you are applying under a marriage-based category, choose “Initial permission to accept employment”.
Box 1.b – Replacement of lost, stolen, or damaged EAD, or correction of my EAD NOT DUE to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) error.: Check box 1.b if Form I-765 is being filed to replace a lost, stolen, or damaged EAD card or if the I-765 is being filed because there was an error on an EAD card issued to the applicant which was not due to a USCIS error (for example, the error was due to a typo on the previously submitted Form I-765).
If the correction being requested was due entirely to a USCIS error (for example, the information you provided was correct and the error was caused by USCIS), you do not need to submit a new I-765 application to request a correction.
Box 1.c – Renewal of my permission to accept employment.: Check box 1.c if you have previously been issued an EAD in the same category. If you are checking this box, you must submit a copy of your previously issued EAD card (front and back).
Part 2. Information About You
Questions 1.a.-1.c.– Your Full Legal Name: Enter the applicant’s full legal name as shown on their birth certificate, passport or legal change of name document.
Questions 2.a.-4.c. – Other Names Used: Provide all other names you have ever used, including aliases, maiden name, and nicknames.
Questions 5.a.-5.e. – Your U.S. Mailing Address: Enter your U.S. mailing address. The EAD card will be mailed to that address.
If your mail is sent to another person, include an “In Care of Name” as part of the mailing address.
Question 6 – Is your current mailing address the same as your physical address?: Check “Yes” or “No” to indicate whether your listed mailing address is the same as your physical address. If you answer “No,” provide your physical address in Questions 7.a.-7.d.
A-Numbers are usually assigned when an immigrant petition or application for Adjustment of Status is filed, or if the person has previously been issued an immigrant visa.
An A-Number is also assigned to individuals placed in removal or deportation proceedings.
Question 9 – USCIS Online Account Number (if any) – If you have ever created an USCIS Online Account Number, enter it.
If you have previously filed certain applications or petitions on a paper form, you may have received a USCIS Online Account Access Notice issuing a USCIS Online Account Number.
The USCIS Online Account Number (if any) can be found at the top of the notices for the previously filed petition or application.
The USCIS Online Account Number is NOT the same as an A-Number.
If you don’t know or don’t have an USCIS online account number, leave this field blank.
Question 10 – Gender: Check the appropriate box that reflects your gender.
Question 11 – Marital Status: Check the appropriate box that reflects your current marital status (“Single,” “Married,” “Divorced,” or “Widowed”) as of the date that the Form I-765 is filed with USCIS.
If you are separated but not yet divorced, select “married.”
Question 12 – Have you previously filed Form I-765?: Check “Yes” if you have ever filed Form I-765 in the past in any category. Answer “No” if you have never filed Form I-765 in the past.
Question 13.a – Has the Social Security Administration (SSA) ever officially issued a Social Security card to you?: Check “Yes” if you have ever been issued a Social Security Number by the SSA, even if it was issued to you in a different name or different category. Answer “No” if you have never been issued an SSN in the past.
Question 13.b – Provide your Social Security number (SSN) (if known): If you answered “Yes” to Question 13.a., enter your SSN here.
Question 14 – Do you want the SSA to issue you a Social Security card?: Check “Yes” if you want the SSA (Social Security Administration) to issue you a Social Security Card. If you answered “No” to Question 14, skip to Question 18. If you answered “Yes” to Question 14, then you must complete Questions 15–17.
Question 15 – Consent for Disclosure: If Question 14 is answered “Yes” and the applicant would like to receive a Social Security Card, you must also answer “Yes” to Question 15.
Question 16.a. – 17.b.– Mother’s Name and Father’s Birth Name: You must provide the names of your father and mother as they were at the time that your parents were born.
Question 18 – Your Country or Countries of Citizenship or Nationality: List all countries where you are currently a citizen or national. If you are stateless, enter the name of the country where you were last a citizen or national.
Questions 19.a-19.c – Place of Birth: Enter the name of the city, town, or village; state or province; and country where you were born. Enter the name of the country as it was named at the time you were born, even if the country’s name has changed or the country no longer exists.
Question 20 – Date of Birth: Enter your date of birth in the (mm/dd/yyyy) format.
Information About Your Last Arrival in the United States
Question 21.a – Form I-94 Arrival-Departure Record Number (if any): Enter the I-94 number that is listed on your I-94 record.
If your Form I-94 cannot be obtained from the CBP website, you may file Form I-102 Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival-Departure Record with USCIS.
Question 21.b – Passport Number of Your Most Recently Issued Passport: If you used a passport to travel to the U.S. during your most recent entry, provide the passport number even if the passport has expired.
Question 21.c – Travel Document Number (if any): If you did not use a passport but a different document to travel to the U.S. (for example, Refugee Travel Document, Advance Parole) at the time of your most recent entry, enter the travel document number even if it has expired. If you used a passport, enter “Not applicable” in this field.
Question 21.d – Country That Issued Your Passport or Travel Document: enter the country that issued your passport or travel document.
Question 21.e – Expiration Date for Passport or Travel Document: enter the expiration date of the passport or travel document you used to enter the U.S.
Question 22 – Date of Your Last Arrival Into the United States, On or About: Enter the date on which you last entered the United States in the mm/dd/yyyy format. The date of your last arrival will be listed on the I-94. If your passport was stamped by CBP, you can find the date of entry on the stamp.
Question 23 – Place of Your Last Arrival Into the United States: Enter the location where you last entered the U.S. (for example, New York, NY).
Question 24 – Immigration Status at Your Last Arrival (for example, B-2 visitor, F-1 student, or no status): Enter the visa category you had when you last entered the U.S. The status you had at the time of your arrival will be listed on the I-94. If the applicant last entered the U.S. without inspection, enter “No Status.”
Question 25 – Your Current Immigration Status or Category (for example, B-2 visitor, F-1 student, parolee, deferred action, or no status or category): Enter your current status. For example, if your current status is an F-1 nonimmigrant student, enter “F-1 student.” If you filed Form I-539 and changed your status, enter the new status. If you have no valid immigration status, enter “No Status.” If you have been issued deferred action, such as DACA, enter “Deferred Action.” If you have no other status but are authorized to stay while your I-485 application is pending, enter “I-485 Pending.”
Question 26 – Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) Number (if any): If the applicant has previously been in F, M, or J status, enter the SEVIS number from the I-20 or DS-2019. This field is mandatory for F, M, or J category applicants.
Question 27 – Eligibility Category: Enter your appropriate eligibility category. Refer to the checklist of required documents provided in this article for a list of all eligible categories.
If your Form I-765 is filed based upon a concurrently filed or pending I-485 application, enter (c)(9) in response to Question 27.
Questions 28 – 28.c. – These questions must be answered only by STEM OPT (c)(3)(C) category applicants. Failure to answer these questions by (c)(3)(C) applicants might result in denial of your application. All other categories can skip these questions.
Question 29 – This question must be answered only by spouses of an H-1B Nonimmigrant – (c)(26) category. Enter the receipt number of your H-1B spouse’s Form I-129. All other categories can skip this question. Learn more about How to Apply for EAD as an H-4 Dependent.
Question 30 – This question must be answered only by applicants with a pending application for Asylum and Withholding of Deportation and Removal (c)(8). Answer “Yes” if you have EVER been arrested for and/or convicted for any crime in any country in the world. Answer “No” if you have never been arrested for and/or convicted for any crime in any country in the world. If you answered “Yes” to this question, you are required to submit evidence of any arrests and/or convictions. All other categories can skip this question.
Questions 31.a. – 31.b. – These questions must be answered only by the following categories of applicants:
- Principal Beneficiary of an Approved Employment-based Immigrant Petition Facing Compelling Circumstances (c)(35)
- Spouse or an Unmarried Child of a Principal Beneficiary of an Approved Employment-Based Immigrant Petition (c)(36)
Provide your Form I-140‘s receipt number in response to Question 31.a.
If you have EVER been arrested for and/or convicted of any crime in any country in the world, answer “Yes” and you must submit documentation of any arrests and/or convictions. All other categories can skip this question.
Part 3. Applicant’s Statement, Contact Information, Declaration, Certification, and Signature
Question 1.a. – If you can comfortably read and understand the application in English, then check the box in Question 1.a.
You should carefully review the entire application for accuracy prior to signing.
Question 1.b. – If you are not proficient enough in reading English, then a competent interpreter needs to read through the application with you for accuracy review prior to signing. The interpreter need not be a professional interpreter but should be someone that is able to properly interpret the application. In such a case, the box in Question 1.b should be checked and the language used to interpret the application to the applicant should be entered (for example, Spanish, French, etc.)
Question 2 – The box for Question 2 should be checked if anyone has prepared the application at your request. If a preparer was used to prepare the application, Part 5 must be completed too.
Applicant’s Contact Information
Questions 3, 4, and 5 – Enter your daytime telephone number, cell phone number (if any), and email address (if any).
Question 6 – This question is skipped where the eligibility category of (c)(33) is entered in response to Question 27.
Question 7.a. Applicant’s Signature – sign the form. It must be an ink signature. USCIS does not accept stamped or typed signatures.
Question 7.b. – enter the date in mm/dd/yyyy format.
Part 4. Interpreter’s Contact Information, Certification, and Signature
If an interpreter was used to read you the application in your native language, then Part 7 must be completed with the information about the interpreter.
The interpreter must sign and date to certify that they are:
- Fluent in English and the language the applicant used;
- They have completely read the application to the applicant in that language;
- The applicant confirmed to understand the contents of the application; and
- The applicant verified the accuracy of the application.
Part 4 is completed by entering the full legal name of the interpreter, the interpreter’s mailing address, daytime phone number, cell phone number (if any), email address (if any), and the language used to interpret the application to the applicant. The interpreter must then sign and date the application where indicated at Question 7 on Page 5 of the application.
Part 5. Contact Information, Declaration, and Signature of the Person Preparing This Application, If Other Than the Applicant
Part 5 is completed by entering the preparer’s full name, organization name (if applicable), mailing address, daytime telephone number, fax number (if any), and email address (if any).
The box at Question 7.b should be checked if an attorney has prepared the application.
The preparer must sign and date the application where indicated as Question 8 attesting to certifications about the preparation and accuracy of the application.
Part 6. Additional Information
This section can be used if there is not enough space in any other parts of the form to provide all requested information.
Note: Even if no information is provided in Part 6, this page should still be included with the application when submitted to USCIS.
If you need additional space, make copies of this page to use to provide all requested information.
If you are using Part 6 to provide additional information, enter:
- Applicant’s name
- Alien Registration Number (A-Number) (if any)
- Indicate the Page Number, Part Number, and Item Number to which the answer refers.
Form I-765 checklist of required documents
You must submit photocopies of the following documents with your I-765 application:
|Most recent EAD (only if you were ever issued one before)|
|Government-issued ID with photograph|
One of the following:
|Proof of lawful entry|
Checklist for each Form I-765 category
|Pending Adjustment of Status (Form I-485) – (c)(9)|
|Spouse of an H-1B Nonimmigrant (c)(26)|
|K-1 Nonimmigrant Fiancé(e) of a U.S. Citizen or K-2 Dependent (a)(6)|
|K-3 Nonimmigrant Spouse of a U.S. Citizen or K-4 Dependent (a)(9)|
|Student with a Degree in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM) Who is Seeking A 24-Month STEM Extension of Optional Practical Training (c)(3)(C)|
|Student Seeking Pre-Completion Optional Practical Training (c)(3)(A)|
|Student Seeking Post-Completion Optional Practical Training (c)(3)(B)|
|F-1 Student Who was Offered Off-campus Employment Under the Sponsorship of a Qualifying International Organization (c)(3)(ii)|
|F-1 Student Seeking Off-Campus Employment Due to Severe Economic Hardship (c)(3)(iii)|
|M-1 Student Seeking Post-Completion Practical Training After Completing Studies (c)(6)|
|J-2 Spouse or Minor Child of an Exchange Visitor (c)(5)|
|Pending Applicant for Asylum and Withholding of Deportation and Removal (c)(8)|
|Asylee (a)(5) (Granted Asylum)|
|Paroled as a Refugee (a)(4)|
|Granted Withholding of Deportation or Removal (a)(10)|
|Under Temporary Protected Status (TPS) (a)(12) and (c)(19)|
|Re-Registering for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) (a)(12)|
|A Citizen of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, or Palau (a)(8)|
|Under Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) (a)(11)|
|Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) Section 203 Applicant Who is Eligible to Apply for NACARA Relief with USCIS (c)(10)|
|Dependent of a TECRO E-1 Nonimmigrant (c)(2)|
|B-1 Nonimmigrant Who is the Personal or Domestic Servant of a Nonimmigrant Employer (c)(17)(i)|
|B-1 Nonimmigrant Domestic Servant of a U.S. Citizen (c)(17)(ii)|
|B-1 Nonimmigrant Employed by a Foreign Airline (c)(17)(iii)|
|Spouse of an E-1 Treaty Trader, E-2 Treaty Investor, or E-3 Specialty Occupation Professional from Australia (a)(17)|
|Spouse of an L-1 Intracompany Transferee (a)(18)|
|Spouse of an E-2 Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) Investor (c)(12)|
|Principal Beneficiary of an Approved Employment-based Immigrant Petition Facing Compelling Circumstances (c)(35)|
|Spouse or an Unmarried Child of a Principal Beneficiary of an Approved Employment-Based Immigrant Petition (c)(36)|
|V-1, V-2, or V-3 Nonimmigrant (a)(15)|
|Registry Applicant Based on Continuous Residence Since Jan. 1, 1972 (c)(16)|
|Physician Applying to Renew Your National Interest Waiver EAD|
|Legalization Temporary Resident Under INA Sections 245A or 210 (a)(2)|
|N-8 or N-9 Nonimmigrant (a)(7)|
|Applicant for Cancellation of Removal (c)(10)|
|Applicant for Legalization Under INA Section 210 (c)(20)|
|Applicant for Legalization Under INA Section 245A (c)(22)|
If you were paroled into the United States after establishing a credible fear of persecution or torture under INA 235(b)(1)(A), you are not eligible for either an initial or renewed Employment Authorization Document under the (c)(11) eligibility category. You may still be eligible to apply for work authorization based on the (c)(8) eligibility category if your asylum application has been pending for more than 365 days and you meet the remaining eligibility requirements.
|Granted Deferred Action (c)(14)|
|Requesting Consideration Of Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (c)(33)|
|Under a Final Order of Deportation or Removal, Including Deferral of Removal Under the Convention Against Torture (c)(18)|
|LIFE Legalization Applicant (c)(24)|
|T-1 Nonimmigrant (a)(16) (Replacement or Renewal)|
|T-2, T-3, T-4, T-5, or T-6 Nonimmigrant (c)(25)|
|Approved as a T Nonimmigrant Adjustment of Status (c)(9)|
|U-1 Nonimmigrant (a)(19) (Replacement or Renewal)|
|U-2, U-3, U-4, or U-5 Nonimmigrant (a)(20)|
|Under U Nonimmigrant Adjustment of Status (c)(9)|
|Violence Against Women Act Self-Petitioner (c)(31) (Replacement or Renewal)|
|A-3 or G-5 Nonimmigrant (c)(14)|
Form I-765 filing fees
Filing fees for Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization are provided below:
|Pending Adjustment of Status (Form I-485) – (c)(9)|
|All other categories|
Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) Section 203 Applicants Who Are
Eligible to Apply for NACARA Relief With USCIS–(c)(10)
Replacement (correction) of an employment authorization document due to USCIS error does not require a new Form I-765
|Initial TPS applicants under 14 years of age or over 65 years of age|
Initial EAD application:
If this is a renewal application: