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Work Authorization

Renewing a Work Authorization Card

Individuals can apply for a waiver of the $410 fee for renewing a work authorization permit. Send the waiver along with the application for the card (at least 120 days before the old card expires). Contact Jane Makela for help: 207-415-6978


You file the same form (I-765) as used for your original EAD, but be sure to check the box for renewal under reason for applying. The form and its instructions can be found by googling I-765. I strongly recommend reading the instructions first because they will explain what documentation needs to be sent with the Form I-765. (You will always need to send a copy of the front and back of your existing EAD, but other documents relating to your asylum application and entry into the U.S. will also be needed).

A few things that may be helpful to know
  • On page 3 of the form, question 25 asks about current immigration status. If you have an asylum application pending, I would suggest listing that as your status (i.e., “asylum application pending”). For asylum seekers, the eligibility category for question 27 will be (c)(8). Be sure to put “N/A” in any boxes that don’t apply to you. Note that question 30 (about arrests or convictions) is specifically addressed to asylum-seekers and must be answered.
  • When to apply: The USCIS now seems to be encouraging filing renewal requests much earlier: their website says renewal applications “should not be filed more than 180 days before the current EAD expires”. So if the existing one expires in August, I’d get the renewal application in right away. Be aware that there is an automatic 180-day extension on the validity of an asylum-seeker’s expired EAD if the holder has properly applied for renewal before the existing one expired: this is probably necessitated by the fact there is a backlog of EAD renewal applications just like almost everything else at the USCIS.
  • There is a $410 filing fee for renewal applications, but you may qualify for a fee waiver, which you obtain by filing a form I-912 along with the I-765. (There are several tests for qualifying for a waiver, but the easiest one to meet is proof that you are receiving a means-tested public benefit like food stamps or TANF or MaineCare or (usually) GA. (You simply submit your current statement from DHHS or, in the case of GA, from the City, along with the form I-912. The form is a mile long but you will be putting “N/A” in at least 3/4 of the blanks if you apply based on a means-tested benefit.)