Information on Work Permit Card Incorrect? How to Fix It

The first step after finding a mistake on your work permit card from USCIS is to determine who caused it; then you'll need to refile Form I-765.

By , J.D., University of Washington School of Law

Many doors open up to you as a foreign national when you receive a 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.

But 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, having perhaps qualified based on applying for some immigration benefit such as asylum, cancellation of removal, DACA, or some other application that allows you to obtain an EAD while awaiting a decision.

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?.

As Soon as You Receive Your EAD: Check for Errors

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.

Figuring Out Who Made the Mistake (and Who Must Pay the Fee)

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." So, for example, 04/11/2002 outside the U.S. might mean November 4, 2002, while in the U.S. it means April 11, 2002. USCIS will assume you've followed the American convention.

Preparing Form and Letter to Request a Correction From USCIS

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).

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 check or money order made out to "U.S. Department of Homeland Security" in the amount of the filing fee and include it with your application; or you can pay by credit card using USCIS Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions.

Once you have prepared your 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 along with the incorrect EAD card to the USCIS 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 it for your records. Be prepared to wait anywhere several months for a new card to be issued to you; the USCIS Processing Times page will tell you current averages.

Getting Legal Help

To make sure this process gets done right and you receive your card as soon as reasonably possible, consider hiring an experienced immigration attorney.

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