How Long Can You Stay on EAD Without a Job?
EAD stands for Employment Authorization Document, and with it non-citizens can get permission to live and work in the United States. But what happens if you don’t have a job and remain in the U.S. with an EAD? How long can you stay? Here’s what you need to know about EAD time limits and alternative options.
Employment Authorization Document Time Limit
It all depends on the type of EAD you have. The following list shows how long the EAD is valid for various categories:
- Asylum: One year
- T nonimmigrant status: 2 years
- U nonimmigrant status: Up to four years
- Family-based: Up to two years
- Regular EAD: Depending on the length of the underlying status
The time frame for your EAD will be listed somewhere on the card, but if you’re not sure, you can contact the USCIS office.
What Can You Do if Your EAD Expires?
If your EAD has expired, you can either apply for an extension or you can look into other alternatives such as applying for a visa.
If you decide to renew, you will need to gather the necessary documents (at least a copy of the EAD and evidence of continued authorization) and fill out the proper application.
While you can stay in the U.S. while your application is pending, it’s important to understand that any period of time after the expiration date of your document is considered to be “unauthorized presence”. This can have consequences when you try to renew your EAD or apply for other forms of legal status.
Alternative Options to EAD
If you don’t have any luck with an EAD extension or if your initial application is denied, you may want to look into other options.
You may be able to apply for a visa, such as a student, work or travel visas, or you can look into obtaining a green card. Alternatively, you can try to find a sponsoring employer or apply for asylum or refugee status.
How long can you remain on EAD without a job? It really depends on the type of EAD and how long it is valid. Before it expires, you can usually apply for an extension, but if that isn’t an option, there are other alternatives such as a visa, green card, or refugee or asylum status that may be available. It’s important to understand the laws and regulations surrounding EADs, so make sure you do your research and follow the instructions carefully.