Immigration Topics Explained:

Lost EAD Replacement

Replacing a Lost or Stolen Employment Authorization Document (EAD)

Can I expedite my EAD replacement?

Also known as a work permit, your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is physical proof of your right to work in the United States. And for many individuals, it's also your only form of government-issued identification. Depending on your circumstances, you'll need to weigh your situation before you replace a lost EAD. It may be more advantageous to wait. If replacing your card, it my be possible to expedite your case in certain situations.

Application for Replacement EAD

How do I replace an employment authorization card?

Individuals who are in certain nonimmigrant statuses use Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, to renew or replace an EAD. Valid reasons to use this application include:

  • Your card was lost, stolen or destroyed;
  • Your existing card has already expired or will expire soon;
  • Your card has incorrect data (due to a USCIS error);
  • Your card has incorrect data (due to your own error); or
  • Your card was issued but never received. However, if you never received an EAD that USCIS mailed, submit an inquiry on non-delivery of a card before filing Form I-765.

Please note that you must continue to be in status when you file Form I-765 to replace a lost EAD. In other words, you must continue to be covered by one of the I-765 eligibility categories. Renewal applicants may be required to renew their respective status at the time of applying for an extension of employment authorization. Finally, certain renewal applicants may qualify an an automatic extension of their expiring EAD.

How to Replace a Lost EAD

Can I get a temporary work permit?

Our customers generally report shorter processing times, but typical USCIS I-765 processing times exceed a year. Unfortunately, USCIS does not provide a way to obtain temporary proof of your work authorization. And employers will generally require you to share your physical card. A photocopy is not a sufficient substitute for a lost EAD. You may attempt to expedite your case by using our instructions below.

Follow these steps to replace your EAD.


Determine Your Need to Replace a Lost Card

You may or may not need to replace your lost EAD. If you're already employed, there is no reason to inform your employer that the card is was lost or stolen. However, if they ask you to provide proof of your work authorization again, you will need to provide your EAD card.

It may take in excess of a year to receive a replacement card. If you card is expiring soon anyway, it may be smarter to wait a month or two to renew the immigration status. In the case of DACA, the cost is the same to renew.


File Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization

Prepare and submit an application package to replace your lost EAD. Be sure to indicate that it is a "replacement" application. For this type of request, you'll generally need to submit the following items in your application package:

  • Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization
  • Form I-765 Worksheet (deferred action applicants only)
  • USCIS filing fees
  • Proof of lawful entry (i.e. I-94 arrival/departure record)
  • A photocopy of your lost EAD (if available). If a photocopy of your lost card is not available, include a copy of another government-identity document. Acceptable examples include a copy of any of the following:
    • Passport showing your picture, name, and date of birth;
    • Birth certificate with photo ID;
    • Visa issued by a foreign consulate; or
    • National ID document with photo and/or fingerprint.
  • Two identical passport-style color photographs of yourself taken within 30 days of filing the application
  • A copy of the order, notice, or document reflecting your immigration status (i.e. Form I-797 Notice of Action or I-94)

Depending on your eligibility category and answers on Form I-765, additional items may need to be included when filing Form I-765. Please read the I-765 instructions on or utilize CitizenPath’s service to prepare the I-765 and receive simplified filing instructions with specific directions.


Request Expedited Processing (if necessary)

Replacing a lost EAD will generally take several months. However, USCIS may expedite your case if you can prove you have a justified and urgent need. USCIS considers all expedite requests on a case-by-case basis, and the decision to grant or deny an expedite request is based on criteria and within the sole discretion of USCIS. You'll need to provide evidence that you have an urgent need beyond your control. A pending job offer (evidenced with a offer letter from an employer) to support your family may qualify, provided you did not delay your application. In other words, USCIS will likely deny your expedite request if you waited several weeks to replace your card after it was lost.

Call USCIS at 1-800-375-5283 to make the request. You'll need your I-765 receipt number. When you call to request expedited processing, the USCIS Contact Center creates and forwards a service request to the office with jurisdiction over your application to replace a lost work permit.

Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization

Use Form Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization) to replace an EAD card that was lost, stolen or damaged. Each year, USCIS rejects or denies thousands of I-765 applications. Therefore, it's important to get it right.

each year an average of
I-765 applications are filed*
out of these
get rejected*
and another
get denied*

How CitizenPath Helps You with EAD Replacement

Where can I get replace a lost EAD?

CitizenPath's affordable, online service makes it easy to prepare Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. Designed by immigration lawyers, the Employment Authorization Package helps you eliminate the common errors that create delays, rejections and even denials. That's because the service alerts you when your answer to a question may be a problem. You'll also get customized filing instructions based on your situation. It's a powerful, do-it-yourself tool that puts you in control. And we've got your back -- CitizenPath provides live customer support and provides a money-back guarantee that USCIS will approve the application. Get started >>

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Once you're completely satisfied, you’ll be able to print your I-765 and customized filing instructions.

Use CitizenPath's Employment Authorization Package to replace a lost EAD
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