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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Once the EAD is received, do I need to submit a copy to OIA, or report my employment details?
A: No, OIA does not require a copy of the EAD and does not track J-2 employment information.

Q: For how long will the EAD be valid?
A: J-2 employment authorization can be granted by USCIS for a period of up to 4 years, or until the expiration of the J-1’s DS-2019, whichever is shorter. However, USCIS may sometimes decide to grant authorization for a shorter period of time even when the DS-2019 end date is more than four years into the future.

Q: Are there any restrictions on the type of employment that the J-2 can accept?
A: From an immigration standpoint, no. However, positions with certain employers may only be open to U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Q: May the J-2 continue working if the J-1’s status ends?
A: No, the J-2’s employment must cease on the date that the J-1 student or scholar’s DS-2019 expires, or when the J-1 record is ended or terminated, even if the J-2’s EAD end date is still in the future.

Q: Can the application be filed prior to the J-2’s entry to the U.S.?
A: No, the J-2 must be physically present in the U.S. at the time of filing. The J-1 does not need to be physically present in the U.S. when the application is submitted, but must be maintaining valid J-1 status at the time of filing and throughout the time the J-2 intends to work.

Q: Can I travel outside the U.S. while my I-765 application is pending, before I receive my EAD card?
A: Yes, you may travel internationally before receiving your EAD if necessary, without any negative impact on your application. It is advised that you carry a copy of your I-797 receipt notice.

Q: What should I do if there is an error (in name spelling, date of birth, etc.) on the EAD I received from USCIS?   
A: If your EAD shows incorrect information as a result of an error on the part of USCIS, visit an immigration coordinator at OIA to discuss instructions for filing for a corrected card.

Q: Can I apply for a Social Security number or replacement card as part of my I-765 application?
A: Yes, if you have never been issued a Social Security number, or if you have been issued an SSN but no longer have your original card and wish to be issued a replacement, check “yes” for questions 14 and 15 on the I-765. You may also apply for an SSN or replacement card through the Social Security Administration in downtown Columbus.  

Q: Can I take the passport-style photographs for my application myself?
A: No, It is strongly advised that you have your passport-style photos taken professionally; do not take or print them yourself. You could be denied for work authorization if the photos you submit do not meet USCIS’s requirements. Local stores and pharmacies such as CVS, Walgreen’s, Kinko’s and others offer passport photo services.

Q: Is there any way to expedite my application, if I have a job offer pending?
A: USCIS no longer honors expedite requests, so including a copy of a job offer letter is not likely to be beneficial in accelerating your case’s processing time.

Q: What should I do if my mailing address changes while my I-765 is pending?
A: If you change addresses before receiving your EAD, update your new address with USCIS, at this link.