What is an EAD or OPT?

Employment Authorization Document (EAD)

Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is granted for people in the C09 category (pending I-485) when the I-765 is processed. This gives them work authorization for the time on the EAD, usually one year. Because green card applications are taking longer than that these days people may need to apply to renew this document to continue to work while waiting for their green card. The USCIS usually processes this application at a separate field location than the rest of the application.

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is work authorization given to F-1 visa holders to be able to work in their field of study either during their schooling or afterwards. Usually OPT is good for 12 months. Income from OPT is considered temporary as you only have authorization for a short time and usually cannot be counted on the I-864, however if the expiration is not for another year or so and the applicant would get their EAD within that time it can be included.

Updated on January 15, 2020

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