An Employment Authorization Document or an EAD card is also known as a “work permit”.  This document is issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and entitles you with the right to work in the U.S. if you are an alien.  An Employment Authorization Document is different from a Green Card that signifies permanent residence.  The EAD generally entitles you to work temporarily, for a specific period of time. To obtain an EAD, complete Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization.

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There are several ways to be deemed eligible for an Employment Authorization Document.  You may qualify if you are a student enrolled in an approved school or are being sponsored by an international organization.  Also, if you are awaiting permanent residence in the U.S., you may be qualify for an EAD.  Refugees, asylees, and dependents of a foreign government officials may also apply an EAD.  

You do not need an Employment Authorization Document if you are a U.S. citizen.  If you have a Green Card, you do not need an EAD.  Your lawful permanent residence or conditional permanent residence ensures your right to work.  If a specific employer has authorized you to work, you do not need an EAD.

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