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Employment Authorization Eligibility Category Codes

What are EAD Eligibility Category Codes?

U.S. Immigration Law

These are the codes set by the Regulations (at Section 274a.12, title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations) which indicate the basis for the employment authorization. An employment authorization document will only be issued to applicants who are eligible under the law. There are many categories of eligibility which are listed below along with their category code.

You can use the table to find the appropriate category code for yourself when filling out a Form I-765 Application. Alternatively, if you have an EAD card and aren’t sure of the basis for your eligibility then you can check the code on your card against the table below to see what the basis was for USCIS issuing you employment authorization.

Where Can I Find the Category Code on the EAD Card?

Image of EAD card with an arrow indicating where the category code appears on the card.

See the image to the left. The red arrow points to where the category code can be found on an employment authorization document. It will be below the name but above the country of birth, between the “USCIS #” and the “Card #.” It should be a letter and then one or two numerical digits (ex. C09, A19).

TIP: The USCIS # on your EAD card is your A#. If you ever need your A# and don’t have it memorized, you can check your EAD.

If you want to know which categories have automatic extensions you can visit this page.

You can find Legal Permanent Resident (Green Card) Category Codes in this post.

Table of EAD Eligibility Category Codes

CodeEAD Code Eligibility
A02A lawful temporary resident pursuant to sections 245A or 210 of the INA
A03Refugee
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 (I-485)
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-petition Qualified 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: https://www.uscis.gov/employment-authorization

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

For a list of categories that have automatic extensions click here.