Employment Authorization Eligibility Category Codes

U.S. Immigration Law


An Employment Authorization Document (EAD) also referred to as a “Work Permit” by some people, allows the person to legally work in the U.S., usually while their application with USCIS is pending adjudication. To get your EAD you must submit a Form I-765 to USCIS, which will ask you for your eligibility category code. Below you will find a list of those categories and their corresponding code for completing the form I-765.

The instructions for completing the Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization can be found on the USCIS website here. The form can now be submitted online in many cases. To file for employment authorization online go to the USCIS I-765 online application page. You will need to make a USCIS online account if you don’t already have one.

More information from USCIS about the Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization can be found here.


Often times people pay someone who promise to get them a work permit but they don’t realize that they way the person is getting it for them is by applying for asylum or some other benefit they are not actually eligible for since USCIS will issue the EAD to allow the person to work until they finally sort out the person’s eligibility. If you have an EAD you look at your card to see what the category code is if you are unsure how you obtained it. If you have and EAD and are unsure of the grounds for which you obtained it then you can look at your care and it will have a category code printed on it that you can check against this list.

Example EAD Card with an arrow to indicate where the EAD category code can be found on the card.

If you look at the example card on the left you will see where the category code appears on the EAD. You can check that code against the list below to be sure that your EAD was issued based on the proper grounds.

USCIS only allows some EAD categories to keep working even after Employment Authorization Document (EAD) expiry if you have filed the extension before the current EAD approval expires.

*Automatic 180 EAD extension allowed for A03, A05, A07, A08, A10, C08, C09, C10, C16, C20, C22, C24, C31 and A12 or C19.


A02A lawful temporary resident pursuant to sections 245A or 210 of the INA
A04Paroled as refugee
A05Asylee (granted asylum)
A06K-1 nonimmigrant fiancé(e) of U.S. citizen (USC)K-2 child of K-1
A07N-8 Parent of international organization employee granted permanent residenceN-9 Dependent Child of international organization employee granted permanent residence
A08Citizen of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands or Palau admitted as a non-immigrant
A09K-3 nonimmigrant spouse of USCK-4 child of K-3
A10Granted Withholding of Deportation or Removal
A11Deferred Enforced Departure (DED)
A12Temporary Protected Status (TPS) granted under 8 CFR 244.12
A13IMMACT Family Unity beneficiary (Section 301 of the Immigration Act of 1990)
A14LIFE Act Family Unity beneficiary (Section 1504 of the Legal Immigrant Family Equity (LIFE) Act Amendments)
A15V-1 Spouse of Lawful Permanent ResidentV-2 Minor unmarried child of Lawful Permanent ResidentV-3 Minor unmarried child of V-1 or V-2
A16T-1 nonimmigrant (victims of a severe form of trafficking)
A17Spouse of E-1/E-2 Treaty Trader/InvestorSpouse of E-3 specialty occupation professional from Australia
A18L-2 spouse of an L-1 intracompany transfer (L-1: Individuals in the U.S. who have been transferred from a subsidiary, affiliate, or branch office overseas to the U.S. to work in an executive, managerial or specialized knowledge capacity
A19U-1 nonimmigrant (victims of certain criminal activity)
A20U-2 spouse of U-1 aliensU-3 children of U-1 aliensU-4 parents of minor U-1 aliens (16 or under)U-5 unmarried sibling under age 18 of U-1 alien under age 21
C01Dependent of A-1 or A-2 foreign government official
C02Dependent of TECRO (Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office) E-1 non-immigrant)
C03APre-completion OPT F-1 students
C03BPost-completion OPT F-1 students
C03C24-month extension for Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM) OPT students
C03(ii)F-1 student offered off-campus employment under the Sponsorship of Qualifying International Organization
C03(iii)F-1 student seeking off-campus employment due to severe economic hardship
C04Spouse or unmarried dependent child of G-1, G-3 or G-4 nonimmigrant (Representative of International Organization and their dependents)
C05J-2 spouse or minor child of a J-1 exchange visitor
C06M-1 student seeking practical training after completing studies
C07Dependent of NATO-1 through NATO-7 non-immigrant
C08Asylum applicant (w/ pending asylum application) who filed for asylum on or after January 4, 1995
C09Adjustment of status (i485)
C10Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) section 203 applicants Applicant for suspension of deportationThe applicant for cancellation of removal
C11An alien paroled into the United States in the public interest or temporarily for emergency reasons
C12Spouse of an E-2 Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) investor; eligible for employment in the CNMI only
C14Alien granted deferred action
C16Registry applicant based on continuous residence since January 1, 1972
C17(i)B-1 nonimmigrant who is the personal or domestic servant of a nonimmigrant employer
C17(ii)B-1 nonimmigrant domestic servant of a U.S. citizen
C17(iii)B-1 nonimmigrant employed by a foreign airline
C18Alien with a final order of deportation/order of supervision;
C19Temporary Protected Status applicant under 8 CFR 244.5
C20An alien who has filed a completed legalization application for special agricultural workers
C22An alien who has filed a completed legalization application under INA 245A
C24LIFE legalization applicant
C25T-2 spouse of T-1, the victim of traffickingT-3 child of T-1T-4 parent of T-1 (if T-1 is under age 21)
C26H4 Dependents of H1B Visa worker
C31The principal beneficiary of an approved VAWA self-petitionQualified child of a beneficiary of an approved VAWA self-petition
C33An alien who has been granted Deferred Action for childhood arrivals (DACA)
C35The principal beneficiary of an approved employment-based immigrant petition facing compelling circumstances
C36Spouse or unmarried child of a principal beneficiary of an approved employment-based immigrant petition facing compelling circumstances.
Source: Section 274a.12, of Title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations

Which Categories Have Automatic Extensions?

Source: Section 274a.12, of Title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations

See also

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