Four months ago, I timely applied for Optional Practical Training (OPT) authorization with USCIS as I finished my program of study last month. …02 Jan 2015
… When I checked my case status on line about a month ago, I saw that my OPT was approved and the USCIS sent me my EAD card in the mail. However, I have not received my EAD yet. I called USCIS Customer Service line and was advised to file a new I-765 form with a new filing fee to replace my EAD that was lost in the mail. Since I requested the start date next week, I am concerned that the USCIS may take another three months to issue a replacement EAD card. Can I start working based on the receipt notice for my application for a replacement EAD?
Typically, an employer may accept a receipt notice for a replacement of a lost or stolen EAD card as evidence of employment authorization. However, in your case, the initial EAD was lost before you were able to use it or verify the approval start date. Therefore, using a receipt notice as proof of continued employment authorization without having received the initial approval is at the least very risky. The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has confirmed that the 90 days of unemployment maximum will not start accruing in this situation until the USCIS issues a replacement EAD. (02.Jan.2015)
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