Receiving or Replacing an EAD

Receiving or Replacing an EAD

An Employment Authorization Document (EAD) grants work permission for certain visa types, including but not limited to F-1 OPT, F-1 STEM OPT, and J-2 work authorization, from USCIS. 

EADs are required to obtain a job in the U.S. and may also be required for other important tasks that require proof that you are authorized to work in the U.S. for a specific time period, like obtaining an SSN.

Receiving an EAD by Mail

EADs must be delivered to a physical address on record with the U.S. Postal system and cannot be forwarded through the U.S. Postal Service. Here are some tips for receiving your EAD:

  • When providing your mailing address in your I-765 application to USCIS, use the USPS Zip Code Look Up tool to find the 4-digit extension of your Zip Code.
    • Example: the OISS office's zip code with 4-digit extension is 06511-6803
  • If you need to change your mailing (delivery) address after you apply while the application is still pending, follow USCIS instructions to submit the update as soon as possible to avoid potential delivery to an old address. 

Note that these helpful hints are provided by USCIS. They do not guarantee successful delivery of your EAD. If your EAD is lost in the mail or returned to USCIS, please see the information below. If your EAD is returned to USCIS and they do not receive an alternate mailing address from you within 60 days, your EAD will be destroyed.  You will then need to re-submit a new I-765 and pay the filing fee again. 

Replacing Your EAD if Lost in the Mail

NOTE: OISS is aware of a system delay between “delivery confirmation” online and actual physical delivery of the EAD. This delay has been up to a week, but usually a few days. Often a delivery confirmation on a weekend results in a weekday delivery later. USCIS provides the following guidance on replacing an EAD that is either lost or must be corrected due to errors on the EAD. Always check the USCIS website for the latest information. 

If your case status shows that your EAD card was mailed but you never received it, follow these steps:

  1. Obtain the tracking number for your EAD card. Call USCIS to obtain the tracking number for your EAD Card. If you have registered for an account with, the tracking information should show in your account if the card has been mailed.
  2. Check the tracking number on the USPS website. If it shows “delivered,” contact USPS to see if they are able to locate the mail for you. If USPS is responsible for the lost card, you will need to obtain an official letter on letterhead from USPS stating this. If approved, USCIS will then issue a new replacement EAD at no additional cost.
  3. If USPS is not able to locate the missing EAD Card, fill out the USCIS Non-Delivery of Card online form. You will need the receipt number from USCIS.

If your case status shows “undeliverable”:

It means that USPS may have returned the EAD to USCIS. 

Follow the instructions in the online USCIS case status to request that USCIS resend the card to you. Be sure that your address on file with USCIS is correct. If your address must be updated, do so as soon as possible online using a MyUSCIS account. If you applied by paper,  we recommend you create an account to update your address. 

If USPS determines they are not responsible for the loss of the EAD:

You will have to file for a replacement of lost EAD card and pay the USCIS I-765 filing fee again. See instructions on the USCIS website.

Replacing your EAD if it Contains Incorrect Information

If the Error Was Because of the Information You Submitted

If your EAD contains incorrect information that is not due to a USCIS error, you must submit:
  • A new Form I-765,
  • The filing fee, if required (or a request for a fee waiver),
  • Any documents specified in the form instructions, and
  • The card containing the error.

If the Error Was Because of a USCIS Error

If your EAD contains incorrect information because of a USCIS error, USCIS will make the appropriate correction at no additional cost to you. Before taking action check in with your OISS adviser to confirm the error. In these cases, you do not need to submit a new Form I-765 or a filing fee. Instead, you must return the EAD to USCIS using a tracking service to confirm delivery and directed to the address listed on the I-797 Approval Notice. Before mailing back the EAD be sure you keep a copy. Your package should include:

  • The original card containing the error,
  • A detailed explanation of the card error, and
  • Supporting documentation on the correct information

In either case, if USCIS receives your application or request for a replacement EAD and you no longer have any basis for applying for an EAD or employment authorization, they will not return the card and will notify you that you do not have a current basis for applying for an EAD or employment authorization.