Sent I-765 to USCIS with a mistake: What can I do?

What to do when that sinking feeling hits you after you've put your I-765 form in the mail.

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Question

I submitted an application for a work permit (on Form I-765) along with my adjustment of status application, but I was sort of in a hurry when I did it. My wife just looked at the photocopy I made and laughed out loud, because I wrote down my birthdates in the wrong spaces, and completely forgot to answer another question on the form. Should I wait to see what U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) does about this, or is there something I can do now?

Answer

If you have already sent your I-765 application for an EAD, and you now realize that you made an error in the form, you may be able to fix the mistake before the EAD is issued. Doing so will likely save you valuable time. (If, however, it arrives before you can take the steps described here, see instead, "Information on Work Permit Card Incorrect? How to Fix It."

The best way to go about fixing a mistake prior to the EAD being issued is by calling the USCIS customer service number found on the receipt you receive in the mail after filing your I-765. You will likely have to wait on hold for some time, but it is better than waiting months to get a reissued EAD if the mistake ends up on your actual card.

Customer service will send an internal work request and will give you a control number for the request. Write this control number down, in case you need to call customer service again.

Within approximately two weeks of your phone call to customer service, you will receive a letter in the mail that will either tell you that the mistake has been fixed or give you further instructions about what to do to fix the mistake.

Although some mistakes can be relatively simple to fix, others, like having entered an incorrect eligibility category on the I-765 application, can be difficult to process.

If the space you forgot to fill in was the one concerning your eligibility category, your application will not be approved. The eligibility category tells the reviewer how you are eligible for work authorization. Without this information, the reviewer cannot approve your application. You will either get a request for evidence asking you to provide the correct category and supporting documentation, or your application will be denied and you will need to apply once again.

Also, if you fail to ask USCIS to fix your birthdate, you will receive a card with an incorrect birthdate, which can take months to correct, and lead to problems if you were to apply for a Social Security number. It is best to take steps to correct this error as soon as you realize there is a problem. (USCIS may, in this instance, ask you to mail in a copy of your birth certificate showing the actual date.)

If you are confused about the mistake or about any part of the process to obtain your work authorization card, consult with an immigration attorney.

by: Jonathan Shaw

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