New EAD Application Form Effective May 27, 2008

Form I-765, which is used to apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), has changed and the new form must be used as of May 27, 2008. This follows a change in the same form I-765 on April 8, 2008. Since many MurthyDotCom and MurthyBulletin readers will need to apply for EAD extensions, it is important one is aware of the multiple form changes to ensure s/he is using the latest correct form.

Reason to Use the Latest Correct Version of Form I-765

As the recent history of the revisions to this form is somewhat confusing, caution is recommended. Prior to filing the I-765, it is important to check the USCIS WebSite for the status of the latest valid I-765 form, as well as any grace periods allowed for use of the older versions of the form. Otherwise one runs the risk of USCIS rejection of the I-765 EAD extension, resulting in being caught without a valid employment authorization document.

OPT Regulations Responsible for Form I-765 Changes

The source of these changes is a revision of regulations pertaining to F-1 students and Optional Practical Training (OPT). These were explained in our April 9, 2008 MurthyBulletin article, F-1 OPT Interim Final Rule of April 8, 2008 – Summary and Analysis. The USCIS updated Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization), in April to accommodate the requirements of the April 8, 2008 interim regulation pertaining to F-1 students on OPT. The instructions for this form specified that the prior version would be accepted only through May 8, 2008, which was subsequently extended to July 8, 2008. The USCIS has recently updated Form I-765, yet again, however, and the latest version, as of this writing, has a revision date of May 27, 2008.

Most Recent Editions Incorporate Changes Prescribed by April 8th Rule

Both editions of the I-765 form issued in April and May of 2008 incorporate new fields pursuant to the new rule for students on OPT. As indicated above, the revised versions apply to all EAD filings, and are not limited to those involving OPT. More specifically, there have been changes in the list of EAD eligibility codes to reflect the various OPT options, including codes to be used when applying for pre-completion OPT, post-completion OPT, and 17-month STEM OPT extension. In addition, new Item 17 is being used to process applications for the 17-month OPT extension for individuals with STEM degrees. This includes information on the degree conferred and the prospective employer’s required eVerify registration number.

Time to Stop Using Earlier Versions of the I-765

All applicants who use Form I-765 to apply for employment authorization, regardless of the basis for their requests, should have begun using the newest edition of the form as of May 27, 2008. While the earlier versions were given a grace period, as discussed above, it is best to utilize the most recent I-765 form to avoid any possibility of filing an obsolete version.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.