An employment authorization document (EAD) lets you work in the U.S. The EAD is also called a work permit. It says the date you can start work, and the date the permission to work ends.
If you are a principal, and you were living in the U.S. when you got your U nonimmigrant status, you should not have to send a work permit application to USCIS. You should automatically get a work permit good for four years.
If you are a principal, and you got your visa outside the U.S. so you could come to the U.S., you should be able to get a work permit. Send a letter with copies of your documents to the USCIS Vermont Service Center. Talk with an immigration lawyer if you do not get a work permit.
If you are a derivative, you must send an application to USCIS to get a work permit. The work permit application form is I-765.
- If you lived in the U.S. when you sent your U status application to USCIS, you could have sent your work permit application at the same time as the U status application.
- If you got a U visa abroad and then entered the U.S., you can send your work permit application to USCIS after you come to the U.S.
* COVID-19 update: It will take longer for you to get a work permit. It could take months for you to get one.