I-765, Application for Employment Authorization

Purpose of Form :
Individuals who are temporarily in the United States and eligible for employment authorization may file a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, to request an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Other individuals who are authorized to work in the United States without restrictions should also use this form to apply for a document evidencing such authorization.
Number of Pages :
Form 1; Instructions 11.
Edition Date :
11/23/10; (02/12/10; 8/19/09; 10/30/08; 10/16/08; 05/27/08 editions also accepted)
Where to File :
Please review the chart listed in the “Related Links” in the upper right corner of this web page, or the Form I-765 Instructions available through the link at the top of the page for information on where to file your Form I-765. Please review the filing instructions carefully.
E-Notification:  If you want to receive an e-mail and/or a text message that your Form I-765 has been accepted at a USCIS Lockbox facility, complete Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance and clip it to the first page of your application. Form G-1145 can be downloaded through the link above.
Filing Fee :
Special Instructions :
If you filed a Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, on July 30, 2007, or after, and you paid the I-485 application fee required, then no fee is required to file a request for employment authorization on Form I-765. You may file the I-765 together with your I-485, or you may submit the I-765 at a later date. If you file Form I-765 separately, you must also submit a copy of your Form I-797C, Notice of Action, receipt as evidence of the filing of a Form I-485.
If you are filing for an extension of your Employment Authorization and your Form I-485, Application for Permanent Residence, was filed before July 30, 2007, then you must pay the $380 filing fee.
You may be eligible to file this form electronically. Please see the related link "Introduction to Electronic Filing" for more information.
Asylum Applicants: Applicants for asylum must wait to apply for employment authorization until 150 days have passed since the date the asylum application was filed and no decision has been made on the asylum application. If 150 days have passed and no decision has been made on your application, you may file Form I-765 to request employment authorization. If you have received a recommended approval for a grant of asylum, you do not need to wait until 150 days have passed since your filing date and may apply for an employment authorization document immediately upon receipt of the recommended approval. If you are granted asylum, you are entitled to employment authorization incident to your status, and you will receive an employment authorization document from USCIS.
Spouse of an E-2 CNMI Investor:  The eligibility code is (c)(12). Certain spouses of E-2 CNMI Investors (E-2C) are eligible to apply for an employment authorization document. To determine if you are eligible for an EAD under this section, you must determine what type of investor certificate was issued by the CNMI to your spouse, the principal E-2 CNMI Investor. If your spouse was issued either a Long-Term Business Certificate or Foreign Investment Certificate, you may be eligible for an EAD under this category. If your spouse, the principal E-2 CNMI Investor, was issued a Foreign Retiree Investment Certification, you are not eligible to receive an EAD under this category.
File Form I-765 with:
  • Documentation, such as a marriage certificate establishing a legal marriage between you and the principal E-2C.  Additionally, documentation such as divorce or death certificates establishing the termination of any prior marriages of you and your spouse. 
  • Documentation establishing that you reside in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
  • Documentation establishing that you have obtained E-2C status as a dependent.
  • Evidence that your spouse has obtained E-2C status.
  • A copy of your spouse’s CNMI issued Long-Term Business Certificate or Foreign Investment Certificate.
If you are filing your application as the spouse of an E-2 CNMI Investor, mail your application to:
California Service Center
ATTN: E-2C I-765
P.O. Box 10698
Laguna Niguel, CA 92607-1098

For Express mail and courier deliveries, mail your application to:
California Service Center
ATTN: E-2C I-765
24000 Avila Road
2d Floor Room 2312
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677

Foreign Students:  The eligibility code for an F-1 student seeking optional practical training (OPT) has been changed.
The eligibility code (c)(3)(i) will no longer be used and has been replaced with the following three codes: (c)(3)(A) for pre-completion OPT, (c)(3)(B) for post-completion OPT, and (c)(3)(C) for a 17-month extension for an F-1 student who has received a degree in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM), that appears on the STEM designated Degree Program List published on the SEVP website available through the Related Links on this page.
If you are a STEM student requesting 17-month extension of your currently authorized optional practical training, you must also submit a copy of your degree reflecting the conferred degree as well as your major field of study. In addition, the employer with whom you are seeking the 17-month OPT extension must be registered in E-Verify. Accordingly, you must list the employer's E-Verify Company Identification Number or a valid E-Verify Client Company Identification Number in Item 17 of the Form I-765. Please refer to the section on Foreign Students in the form instructions.
The eligibility codes (c)(3)(ii) and (c)(3)(iii) are unchanged and remain in use.
Electronic Filing:
Please note that the option to file Form I-765 electronically for applicants filing under eligibility category (c)(3)(i) is currently disabled.  Applicants filing under eligibility categories (c)(3)(A), (c)(3)(B), and (c)(3)(C)  may now file their application electronically. The option to electronically file the Form I-765 for the eligibility codes (c)(3)(ii) and (c)(3)(iii) remains in effect.
Note on Filing Fee:
If you are in one of the categories noted below, no fee is required.
No fee is required if filing for an initial employment authorization document under one of these categories:
  • Refugee, asylee or paroled as a refugee 
  • N-8 or N-9 Nonimmigrant
  • Citizen of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, or Palau
  • Granted Withholding of Deportation or Removal 
  • Dependent of certain foreign government or international organization personnel
  • Applicant for asylum (applicant filing under special ABC procedures must pay the fee however)
No fee is required if filing for a renewal employment authorization document under any of these categories:
  • Citizen of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, or Palau
  • Granted Withholding of Deportation or Removal
  • Dependent of certain foreign government or international organization personnel
Important Lockbox Filing Tips:
  • Read and follow all form instructions for fees, filing location, and eligibility requirements.
  • If hand writing your application, ensure all entries are neat and legible.
  • When entering information on your application or petition, be sure to keep your information within the box or space provided.
  • Use black or blue black ink only. Do NOT use highlighters or red ink on your application as they may make your materials undetectable when scanned.
  • Ensure that you are using the correct edition of the form. The correct edition is always available for FREE download at the top of this page.
  • Ensure that printed forms do not have the data fields grayed out. Information entered into grayed-out data fields will not be detected by the machine scanners.
  • Ensure that you provide all required supporting documentation and evidence.
  • Ensure that the supporting documents written in a language other than English are accompanied by an English translation.
  • Be sure to sign your application.
  • Be sure that you mail all pages of the application.
  • If you must change your form, we recommend that you begin with a new form, rather than trying to white out information. Our scanners may see through the white correction tape or fluid and make your form incorrect, possibly leading to processing delays or rejection.
  • Checks must be made payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Read the form instructions for additional details.
  • We suggest that you use a separate check or money order for each application in the package and biometric fees.  If a single check is submitted for multiple applications and one of the applications must be rejected, then all applications will be rejected. The Lockbox can not accept overpayment and make partial refunds.
  • Note that the requirement for biometrics fees varies depending upon your age and the benefit for which you are applying. Ensure the biometric fees submitted are correct based upon age and benefit.
Customer Service
  • If your form is rejected and you don't understand our explanation or disagree with that determination, please write to Lockboxsupport@dhs.gov before you re-file.  We will respond quickly to your concern.  Please include the form type, receipt number(s), and the applicant name and mailing address in your inquiries.  We specifically ask that Alien Numbers (A-numbers) NOT be included in email, as email is not a secure means of communication.
  • Lockboxsupport@dhs.gov can answer questions regarding applications and petitions which are pending acceptance or rejection at the Lockbox, and those which have been rejected.  Once your application has been accepted, the Lockbox has no information on the adjudication status. After your application or petition has been accepted by the Lockbox, if you have questions about the status of your pending application or petition, contact USCIS Customer Service at (800) 375-5283 or visit our website, www.uscis.gov, and use the InfoPass system to make an appointment at your local USCIS office.
  • Requests to withdraw an application or petition must be addressed to the office adjudicating your application or petition.
  • Requests to send files to a different office must be made to the office holding your file.  Call USCIS Customer Service at (800) 375-5283 to determine where your inquiry should be sent.
  • The Lockbox does not process refunds.  Information about refunds can be found by visiting our website and typing Refund Request in the Search box in the upper right hand corner of the homepage.
What Not to Send to a Lockbox Facility
  • Only applications with fees or fee waiver requests should be sent to any Lockbox.
  • The following items are examples of items that should not be mailed to any Lockbox:
  • The Lockbox does not accept additional evidence submitted in response to a Request for Evidence (RFE) or a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID).  Send all documents and information requested through a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) to the office requesting the information.
  • The Lockbox does not process changes of address.  Please see our website for more information on change of address.