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GC EAD: All about Employment Authorization Document for Green Card Holders

What Is A GC EAD? All About EAD Work Permit For GC Applicants

To become a green card holder and to have a permanent residency in the U.S.A. is a dream come true for many international students and foreign nationals. Many come to the USA on another visa status such as F-1, J-1, M-1, etc, and later on, after becoming eligible, apply for a green card. GC EAD Card is a work authorization permit provided to the non-immigrants as applicants of Green Card status working in USA. Many a time, applicants file for a green card meanwhile they want to start working in the US as the approval process takes quite long for about 9 months to 3 years. In such a scenario, foreign nationalities can apply for work using an EAD card.

Not everyone is applicable for an EAD card and if proper steps aren’t taken while filing it, chances are your application might be denied. Let us go through this article which is all about GC EAD card.

What is GC EAD?

Employment Authorization Document (EAD) Card is a work permit which is provided to non-immigrants. This work permit allows them to work in the U.S. The ones who are eligible to apply for this card are included in this list by USCIS. Under this, even those who have applied for a green card can apply for EAD. Such an EAD is called GC EAD.

It basically contains all your personal information including immigration status and EAD validity. This has to be carried with you especially when you apply for jobs in the U.S.

Is there any difference between EAD and GC EAD?

EAD is a work permit provided to all who are eligible to work temporarily in the U.S. GC EAD is a work permit issued to a person living in the U.S. who has applied for his green card. As the process may take a long time, the federal government understands that one needs to be employed to maintain one’s living alongside their family. Hence EAD is issued for green card applicants.

This also means that effectively, other than the green card status, EAD and GC EAD provides the same legal stature.

The eligibility for filing the GC EAD:

Green card based EAD can only be issued to the individuals who have currently applied for a green card. The ones who are eligible to apply for a green card EAD include the ones become eligible through a US-citizen family member or spouse and those who are eligible due to a US job offer or are looking for a green card on basis of their employment.

To know about who is applicable to apply for a green card, click here.

How to file for a GC EAD? – Processing Time 

The most ‘economic’ practice while applying for a GC EAD is to present your EAD appeal simultaneously as your green card. That way, your EAD appeal will begin getting handled quickly and you’ll have more opportunity to practice your work.

Documentation needed for completing Green Card EAD process:

  • I-765 Form

This is the application to request employment authorization to verify your eligibility for EAD.

  • Two passport-sized photos
  • A duplicate of your last EAD or your latest government provided ID in the case you never had an EAD issued priorly.
  • A duplicate of your travel document i.e. I-94 form.

To complete the process, you have to deposit the processing fees and attach the receipt in your application. Once all the documents are put together, you forward it to USCIS through mail or electronically file it on their website. The GS EAD processing time takes about 60 – 90 days

The cost involved in filing EAD:

The fundamental expense that you should pay to present an EAD request is the I-765 processing fee, which is $410. Likewise, you should pay a biometric charge of $85 so the USCIS can take your fingerprints. Notwithstanding, the green card application has the equivalent biometric expense, so in the event that you’ve just had your biometrics taken for your green card, you won’t have to do it once more.

Renewal of GC EAD card:

From the time your GC EAD card is issued, it has a validity of one year, typically. You can file for the your GC EAD renewal card once you reach 180 days or less time remaining for your EAD card expiration. See to it that you apply for the renewal because once it gets expired, you legally are no more permitted to work in the U.S. The GS EAD renewal also takes about 60-90 days for complete processing.

The time taken for processing a green card can be as early as 8-9 months or in case of delay, it can go beyond 2+ years. As employment is essential to sustain oneself, whatever be the time taken for processing, a GC EAD is quite important. Even if you are all positive about your green card approval, keep a leeway for yourself and renew your GC EAD, just in case.

Well, you will no more need to worry about GC EAD validity, once you gain green card status because this brings along with it a right to permanent residency and to work legally in all conditions without the need for an EAD card.


Getting your GC EAD is an urgent advance towards getting your green card, and at last in any event, naturalizing and turning into a US resident. The adaptability to work in the US that you get with a GC EAD can assist you with beginning structure a day to day existence and gathering American work insight.

Simply ensure that you generally hold a work license until you have a green card. Working in the US for any period while not lawfully approved will place your whole green card application at risk.

Neil Thomas

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