Many doors open up to you as a non-citizen when you receive your U.S. work permit (employment authorization document or EAD). It means you can get a job, possibly a driver’s license (depending on your state's law) and a Social Security number (SSN). In fact, you might receive your SSN along with your EAD, if you checked the box on Form I-765 requesting this.
You might have been waiting for months to receive the card after applying for some immigration benefit such as, asylum, cancellation of removal, or DACA, or after sending in some other application that allows you to obtain an EAD while awaiting a decision. But then what happens if you're faced with the disappointment of noticing incorrect information on your EAD? This article can help you take action to fix the mistake.
You’ll want to move quickly: It can take months for USCIS to fix the mistake, and you have likely already waited months to receive your card already.
If, by the way, you haven't yet received your EAD but know that you entered erroneous information on your application for it, see Sent I-765 to USCIS With a Mistake: What Can I Do?.
The minute you receive your new employment authorization document, take a few minutes to carefully look at all of the information on the card. Check for correct spelling of your name, the “USCIS” or “A” number, your date and country of birth, and so forth.
Is there any mistake that you can “live with?” Probably not. For example, if the birthdate is wrong, the Social Security office could have a hard time issuing you a Social Security number.
The first step after finding a mistake on your work permit card is to determine who caused it. If it was USCIS, then it will correct the EAD for you without your having to pay a new fee or file a new I-765 application form.
If you made the mistake, you should plan on filling out a new I-765 form and sending the filing fee once again.
If you kept a copy of your original application for your records, look over the application and determine whether you made any mistake on the application.
For example, if the birthdate on the EAD card is wrong, check the section of the application where you included your birthdate to see if you accidentally entered the wrong date. It is common in other countries to use the date format “day/month/year” whereas the format on the I-765 application is “month/day/year.”
After you decide whether the mistake is yours or USCIS’s, draft a brief letter describing the mistake and requesting that it be fixed. The letter should be sent to the address on your approval notice (I-797 Notice of Action), usually found in the lower left corner.
Next, prepare any supporting documentation showing the correct information, as you want it entered on the revised version of your EAD. For example, if the birthdate was wrong on the first EAD, provide a copy of your birth certificate and an English translation if needed.
If the mistake was yours, get a money order made out to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security” in the amount of the filing fee and include it with your application.
Once you have the letter, supporting documents, a new form I-765 (if needed because the mistake was yours), and a new filing fee (if needed) you will forward these documents along with the incorrect EAD card to the address that you found on the approval notice.
You will not be able to keep the incorrect card during this process, but be sure to keep copies of the card for your records. Be prepared to wait anywhere between three and six months for a new card to be issued to you; the USCIS Processing Times page will tell you current averages.
Consult an immigration attorney if you’d like help with this process.