Replacing an Employment Authorization Document (EAD)

Employment Authorization Document (EAD)



In certain cases, an individual may need to seek a replacement Employment Authorization Document (EAD). An individual will need to apply for a new EAD if his or her EAD is lost, stolen, or destroyed. An individual may need to also seek a new EAD if his or her current EAD contains incorrect information due to an error on the part of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The procedures and requirements for seeking a replacement for a lost, stolen, or destroyed EAD are slightly different than those for seeking a replacement for an EAD issued with incorrect information due to USCIS error.

In this article, we will examine the rules and procedures for seeking replacement EADs. In so doing, we will rely on a USCIS document titled “Employment Authorization Document” (last updated April 19, 2017) [PDF version].

Replacement EAD in the Event that EAD Is “Lost, Stolen, or Destroyed”

If an individual's EAD is lost, stolen, or destroyed, he or she may request a replacement EAD by filing a new Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. The application must be accompanied by a filing fee, if required. In certain circumstances, an individual may be able to request a fee waiver [see article]. The Form I-765 must be filed in accordance with the associated form instructions.

Dependents of certain foreign government personnel, international organization personnel, and NATO personnel are not required to pay a fee for a replacement EAD.

Non-Delivery of a Card Mailed by USCIS is a Distinct Issue

Please note that an EAD being “lost, stolen, or destroyed” is a distinct issue from the non-delivery of an EAD that was mailed by the USCIS. An individual who has not received an EAD mailed by the USCIS may submit an E-inquiry to the USCIS website 120-days after the approval date of the EAD [link]. An individual can check the status of a case using the “My Case Status Tool” on the USCIS website. This tool should provide the individual with a United States Postal Service tracking number for the card. This same procedure applies for Form I-551, Permanent Resident Cards (“Green Cards”) as well.

Replacement EAD When EAD Was Issued With Incorrect Information Due to USCIS Error

If an individual receives an EAD with incorrect information due to USCIS error, he or she may receive a corrected EAD at no personal cost. In order to apply for the corrected EAD, the individual must submit the following to the service center or National Benefit Center that approved his or her latest Form I-765:

The original card containing the error;
A detailed explanation of the error; and
Supporting documentation on the correct information.

An individual whose EAD was issued with incorrect information due to USCIS error need not submit a new Form I-765 (or fee) for a corrected EAD.

If the USCIS Determines that Error on EAD Was Not Due to USCIS Error

If an individual returns an EAD to the USCIS that contains incorrect information and the USCIS determines that the incorrect information was not due to USCIS error, the USCIS will return the EAD to the individual uncorrected. In this case, the individual will be required to follow the regular process for seeking a replacement EAD, namely filing a new Form I-765 with fee (if applicable). We discuss this in detail in our full blog on the Potomac Service Center now handling corrections to EADs it had issued with incorrect information [see blog].


If an individual requires a replacement EAD, the steps that he or she will be required to follow will depend on the reason for needing the replacement. In addition to following the instructions offered by the USCIS, an individual may consult with an experienced immigration attorney for guidance on this or any other more complicated issues involving EADs and associated requirements.

For more information on EADs, please see our full article on the redesigned EAD that the USCIS will begin issuing on May 1, 2017 [see article].