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As of March 12, 2024, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began efforts to provide Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) more efficiently to eligible refugees after they are admitted into the United States.


This streamlined process for Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, shortens the wait time for an EAD to approximately 30 days instead of several months.   


Refugees are no longer required to apply for an EAD, which allows for more efficient processing and adjudication of Form I-765 and quicker delivery of EADs after USCIS approves them.


All individuals admitted into the United States as refugees on or after December 10, 2023, will receive EADs pursuant to this new process.


With this new process, USCIS will digitally create a Form I-765 for arriving refugees and begin adjudicating it as soon as they are admitted into the United States.   After USCIS approves a refugee’s Form I-765, refugees will generally receive their EAD within one to two weeks via USPS priority mail. 


The time frame for a refugee to receive their EAD card may vary, depending on delivery times.


USCIS will also electronically provide the Social Security Administration with the information required to assign a Social Security number and mail a Social Security card to the refugee.


This process does not apply to following-to join refugees admitted into the United States based on an approved Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition.


Additionally, refugees seeking a replacement or renewal EAD will still need to complete and submit Form I-765.

View USCIS alert here.




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