EAD cards, also known as employment authorization documents, are a term recruiters and HR professionals come across often. Many times people aren’t sure whether or not they provide sufficient work authorization. The short answer is “yes.” EAD cardholders do not require employer sponsorship to work, as they are independently eligible for work authorization.
Examples of these categories include:
It’s important that both employers and employees understand the purpose and limitations of the card. EAD cards are temporary work permits. The EAD cardholder should be aware of the card’s expiration date and initiate the process to renew the EAD card well before that date, since one must have the new card in-hand in order to continue working.
USCIS allows the renewal application to be submitted no sooner than 120 days before the original expiration date. Once the applicant is hired, an I-9 must be completed in order to verify the applicant’s identity and work authorization. If the employee presents the card for the I-9, this serves as a List A document and no further documentation is needed. Section 3 (Reverification) of the I-9 should then be completed whenever a renewed card is obtained. This card is not a green card, and should not be confused with permanent work authorization.