EAD Expedite Process: Getting Work Authorization Faster (I-765)

Eager to start working in the United States? Good! We need more tax payers in this country. Normally, the employment authorization document (EAD) processing is pretty quick. But sometimes, you’ll need to request an EAD expedite if too much time has passed since submitting your application.

If you’ve submitted the adjustment of status (form I-485) to USCIS and are still waiting for your green card interview, it’s likely that the EAD will be processed within 90 days.

sample EAD expedite letter

Download our EAD Expedite Sample LetterIt’s a 9-page expedite request sample with 7 different types of evidence you can include to show financial hardship.

 

What happens if there is delay in processing the EAD card?

Well, if you’ve ever dealt with U.S. immigration, you’ll know that processing delays are the norm. In my case, when I applied for my adjustment of status it took less than 70 days to get my EAD card.

I’m not saying that everyone should get their work authorization this quickly but generally it shouldn’t take more than 90 days.

Case Example:

Ramit applied for Adjustment of Status (I-485) 6 months ago and he included the work authorization form I-765 with it. He is beginning to get concerned about the delay in getting the work permit approved.

Since it has been more than 90 days since he submitted form I-765, it’s time that you follow up with USCIS to get an update and possibly request an expedite.

Do You Qualify For EAD Expedite?

When requesting an expedite from USCIS, you have to provide that you qualify for one of their expedite criteria. They will then consider the evidence you provide on a case-by-case basis.

There are no guarantees of approval even if you submit really strong evidence for expedite.

  • Severe financial loss to a company or person
  • An emergency situation
  • Humanitarian reasons
  • Nonprofit organization whose request is in furtherance of the cultural and social interest of the United States
  • A Department of Defense or national interest situation
  • USCIS error
  • Compelling interest of USCIS

The most common reasons for expedite that I’ve seen are for emergency reasons and financial loss. The burden of proof is on you, though.

Immigration officials have the final say on whether you’ve made your case and if they should grant you expedite.

How to Request an EAD Expedite

Case Example:

Jolie came to the U.S. on a K1 fiance visa and has recently applied for adjustment of status. She was hoping to get her EAD card quickly as she has already gotten several employment offers.

After 90 days of waiting, she decides to request EAD expedite processing. She submits documents to prove an emergency situation. Her new husband has been diagnosed with brain cancer and she needs to work to help pay for his medical expenses.

She included medical records as well as financial hardship documents.

In the case above, Jolie can try to prove both financial and emergency reasons for the expedite. Including a personal statement as well can be helpful. But remember, the most important evidence you can include are things that can’t be disputed.

This can include statements and documents from professionals such as doctors, psychologists, bankers etc.

ead card

Requesting An EAD Expedite From USCIS

In most cases, you can only request an EAD expedite once you submit the petition to USCIS. Unfortunately, you can request an expedite with the petition.

Step 1: Get your receipt notice from USCIS

Before applying for an EAD expedite, you must have your receipt number (or case number). After submitting your petition, it can take 1-2 weeks to receive the first notice of action (NOA1) confirming that USCIS has received your petition.

Once you have your receipt number, you’ll need to include this in your expedite request so they know which case you are requesting expedite for.

Step 2: Request your EAD expedite

  • Call customer service to request EAD expedite.
    • The easiest way to request an expedite is to call customer service at 1-800-375-5283 to submit it by phone. That’s not all though. You still need to submit evidence for your expedite so this is just the first step.
  • Send a letter of expedite to USCIS field office.
    • Another option is to send your EAD request in writing. You can download a sample expedite letter here and edit it to meet your needs. (You’re welcome!)
  • Schedule an InfoPass to request EAD expedite.
    • Finally, you can go to your local USCIS field office to request the expedite in person. This may be the most time-consuming option but it can help to sit down with an immigration official to ask all the questions you may have.

Step 3: Include supporting evidence

Just submitting the EAD expedite request isn’t enough. You must include supporting evidence showing that you qualify to expedite your petition.

USCIS gets a lot of expedite requests that are pretty ridiculous. Think about it, everyone wants their case processing faster and to be able to get their work permit or green card even faster.

But surely, they can’t approve everyone who feels that their case is special and should skip ahead of the line.

How Long Does EAD Expedite Take To Process?

Being able to work is so important to many new immigrants to the United States. Without being able to work, you can’t pay your bills, buy food or support your family.

So, how long will the EAD expedite take to process?

Generally, if you’ve submitted a really strong expedite request, it will likely take a few days to a few weeks. Since the adjudicators still need to review your expedite evidence, it will take some time but definitely not as long as it would without the expedite.

EAD Expedite Request Procedure

After submitting the expedite request, it will be routed to the local field office that has your petition. They will review your EAD expedite and supporting evidence to make a decision.

Unfortunate, there is no exact time frame of how long the expedite review will take but generally it shouldn’t take longer than a few days to a few weeks.

EAD expedite approved

If your expedite request is approved, you’ll likely get a notice in the mail and copy of your brand new work permit! Congratulations, you can now accept any job offers that were dangling over your head.

If you’re just starting your employment search, you can confidently say that you are authorized to work in the United States.

ead approved

EAD expedite denied

If your expedite request is denied, your case will processed as usual. You won’t be able to skip ahead of the line and it can take about 90 days to approve. If it’s been longer than 90 days, contact customer service to get an update.

After 90 days, they will probably just tell you to wait another 30-60 days before inquiring about your EAD again.

sample EAD expedite letter

Download our EAD Expedite Sample LetterIt’s a 9-page expedite request sample with 7 different types of evidence you can include to show financial hardship.

Case Example:

Lenny is waiting for his adjustment of status application to be approved but he has a job offer that he desperately wants to accept. His American wife is pregnant and she was put on bed rest by her doctors which means she had to quit her job. They have no income coming in and will be evicted at the end of the month if they don’t pay their rent.

Lenny considers submitting an expedite request based on their pregnancy and financial hardship. He submits statements from their doctor about his wife’s bed rest requirement and their bank statements.

I’m sure you’re thinking that this is probably a good reason to expedite the EAD processing for Lenny’s case. But, it’s really not. USCIS doesn’t care whether you are pregnant or can’t pay your rent. These are situations that many people face and isn’t extreme enough to warrant an expedite.

Final Thoughts On EAD Expedite Requests

Getting an EAD expedite request approved isn’t rock science. You can definitely put together a strong case for it yourself. But, if you’re not comfortable doing all the paperwork yourself, I offer 1-on-1 support to help you put together a strong expedite request.

By following the steps above, you give yourself a much better chance of approval. Most people don’t understand the expedite criteria and end up wasting time submitting a really wake request that gets denied.

An approved expedite request will not only allow you to work in the United States faster, but you can use it as proof to get a drivers license in some states.

So, what’s the worst case scenario? Well, your EAD expedite request is denied and you wait just as long as you would have if you didn’t submit the request.

If you think of it this way, you really won’t loose anything if you submit the expedite request other than the time it takes to gather and put together the supporting evidence.

If you are not sure how to write a good expedite letter, you can download our EAD sample letter. It’s a 9 page expedite request with 7 different types of evidence you can include to show financial hardship.

Comments

  1. Hi Perla,

    I don’t believe there is a sample letter available but if you’d like me to write one up for you, please contact me directly. I’ll need additional information about your situation.

  2. Alina Diaz

    Hi, how do expedite over the phone? I’ve called multiple times but I can’t reach an operator on the phone or find an option to press to expedite it. I got a job offer today and my OPT was received on July 12th. I need to get it expedited.

    I’ve tried making an appointment online in Chicago but the only date populating for appointments is today and it won’t let me check for appointments available in the next couple of days.

  3. Hi Ayan,
    Thanks for the incredibly useful information. I was wondering if EAD renewal could be enough to get expedition. because i’m already working but my ead is expiring before my GC interview appointment date

  4. Hi Fiyinfoluwa, I’m glad this information was helpful to you! As for the EAD renewal, that may not cut it to USCIS. There must be a specific reason for your expedite otherwise they will process your EAD renewal in the order they receive other applications. If you will face a financial hardship because of a job loss, that may work in your favor but you will need to back that up with evidence. Good luck!

  5. Ingo Schleicher-Mogavero

    Hi Ayan

    May I ask you for some advice. I sent all my papers in to the USCIS and it seems like everything is in process … so far so good. My situation is my company in the UK already created a contract for me to keep working in the US (international company) because I have some projects to complete. The contract is dated with effective date beginning of August. They´re quite flexible but as I have entered the US at the beginning of May and sending in the paperwork a couple days later I think my work permit will not make it until August. I really don´t want to loose my job with this company, Can you please advise the best action to take with USCIS? Or, do I just have to wait for the normal processing time? Many thanks, Ingo

  6. Fatima

    Hi Ayan!
    Question.. i request for my i765 to be expedited 4days ago. My online case history shows that it was assigned to an officer and was completed but no other status up. Any thoughts?
    I’ve tried to look up info in different forms but can’t seem to find an answer.

  7. Hi Fatima,

    It’s likely they are reviewing your request. It can take several days and up to 2 weeks to approve an expedite.

  8. Hi Ingo, I would send the EAD expedite if I were you. The sooner the better and your case would fall under the severe financial loss criteria but it will be up to you to provide enough evidence to convince USCIS to approve the expedite.

  9. FATIMA

    Thanks Ayan, appreciate the response. I’ll sit tight and wait. I hope they reach out and ask for my evidence!

  10. Ingo Schleicher-Mogavero

    Hi many thanks for your feedback… I think I will start this week 😉 … have a nice day

  11. Behnam

    Hi, for EAD Expedite Request with CongressMan, do we need to individually submit the case to USCIS?

  12. Hi Behnam, I’m not quit understanding the question. You would need to submit the EAD expedite separately from the original EAD submission. If you are getting a congressman’s office involved, have them inquire about your EAD application on your behalf. You can submit both the expedite and a letter from the congressman at the same time if you’d like.

  13. RAM

    Hi Nice article, have 1 question, can i send the expedite documents to the address mentioned in the reciept notice?, in my case its Nebraska Service Center or is it ok to fax these documents.

    Thanks

  14. Hi Ram, I recommend contacting USCIS customer service and provide them with your receipt number. Let them know you’d like to submit an expedite request and ask which office you should submit your request to. Remember to include supporting evidence!

  15. Carlos

    Hi Ayan, I have a question. ON june 13th I called to request for expedite and I was a assigned a reference number. I was told I am supposed to wait for 5 days to receive notification in order to send my support documents. Today it’s 5 days and I have not received any email or call, not even when I check my case status any change saying that I call for expedite request. Do you advise me to call back again or I should wait longer?

  16. Hi Carlos,

    Yes, call them back and ask them where you should submit your evidence. Without your evidence, they won’t approve your expedite request!

  17. Marcela Parise

    Hi Ayan, My EAD was stolen and I am interviewing for a new job. Should I tell them?? Is the process for replacing an EAD faster or is the same ?

  18. Hi Marcela, If your employer doesn’t require you to show them the physical card, you don’t need to tell them but you should replace your EAD card. It can take a while to get but losing your EAD doesn’t mean you are not authorized anymore. It simply means that you can’t prove you are authorized but by submitting a petition to replace your EAD, you can use the notice of action letter as proof of pending petition. Sorry you had it stolen! That’s a bummer.

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