Workers with Masks

Form I-765 Explained

What is Form I-765?

If you want to work while you wait for your green card to be approved, you'll need to fill out Form I-765 (formally known as "Application for Employment Authorization"). You can show prospective employers that you are entitled to work with a permit (also known as an Employment Authorization Document, or EAD).

(If you're applying for a family-based green card from outside the United States, you won't be able to seek a separate work permit until you enter the country and receive your green card.)

Processing Times

US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) typically takes 150–210 days (5–7 months) to process Form I-765. Previously, work permit applications were handled within 90 days by USCIS, but an increasing backlog has created extra delays.

Contact us if you want to apply for a work permit using Form I-765 but aren't sure where to start. We can direct you to the appropriate resources.

Form I-765 Cost.

The filing fee for Form I-765 is usually $410, however the cost of a work permit is determined by a variety of circumstances. If you must provide biometrics with your application, the charge may be higher.


An additional $85 biometrics charge is required for the following filing types, increasing the total cost of the work permit application to $495:

Childhood Arrivals Deferred Action (DACA)

An approved employment-based immigrant petition's primary beneficiary Faced with Difficult Situations
Spouse or unmarried child of an approved employment-based immigrant petition's principal beneficiary


If you are unable to pay the filing fee, you must submit Form I-912 (Obtain for Fee Waiver) along with your Form I-765 and all supporting evidence to request a fee waiver.

Both the filing fee and the biometrics charge will be waived if you are granted, and you will just have to pay $0.

How to apply

You can submit Form I-765 with your green card application (Form I-485) or at any time after receiving notification from USCIS that your application has been received. You just need to attach a completed Form I-765 and two passport-sized pictures if you apply for a work permit in the same box as your green card application.


Even if you've already submitted your green card application (with the I-485 filing fee), you can still apply for a work permit by filing Form I-765 with a copy of the USCIS notice confirming receipt of your green card application (including the I-485 filing fee).

Reasons for Denial

There are two main reasons for your work permit being refused. The first is if you filled out the work permit application form (I-765) incorrectly, forgot to sign it, or left something out that was required (for example, if you applied for the work permit after your green card application, and you failed to include a copy of the original USCIS receipt notice). The second, less typical reason for denial is if your green card application was processed so rapidly that you already had an authorized green card when your work permit application was completed.


This is an excellent (if uncommon) problem to have because you don't need a separate work permit to lawfully work once you have a green card.

With, you'll receive a professionally produced green card application package, complete with a work permit application, in the exact format required by the government. Learn more 


It can be difficult to renew or replace your green card, but consulting with an experienced immigration attorney can help. We may be able to assist you if you cannot afford attorney expenses and do not want to handle your renewal or replacement application on your own. We will guide you through the process and assist you in preparing and submitting your application to the US government. Click "Get Started" to see how we may assist you in realizing your American dream!