Replace a Lost or Stolen Employment Document (EAD Card)
Did you lose the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) you received from the US government? Maybe you never received it because it was lost in the mail? Follow these instructions to get a new card mailed to you as soon as possible.
Once you follow this process, you are allowed to use the receipt notice you receive from the US government for your replacement application as an I-9 document for up to 90 days of employment. See the USCIS I-9 Receipt web page for more details. However, we advise you NOT to travel internationally while waiting for a replacement EAD card.
Get a new I-20 from the Office of Global Services.
Decide how you want to file your application to the government to replace a lost or stolen EAD.
US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) currently accepts EAD replacement applications through two methods:
- Filing the application online
- Filing the application by sending it through the mail
If you want to apply for the replacement EAD online:
Review our guidance on filing the online I-765.
If you want to apply for the replacement EAD by mail:
Review our guidance on filing the I-765 for OPT by mail.
In addition to the documents listed on the file the I-765 online and by mail we pages, to replace a lost or stolen EAD you must also include:
- A copy of the approval notice you received for your OPT application AND a copy of the barcode sheet that came with your EAD (if possible)
- A letter to the US government explaining the circumstances, including a copy of a police report (if applicable). If you never received the EAD card at all, be sure to clearly state that in the letter.
Submit your replacement application to the US government.
If you are applying for the EAD replacement by mail:
Send your application to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services by FedEx or UPS.
Mail your application to the Direct Filing Address for Form I-765 listed for foreign students.
Confirm the US government received your application and track your application status.
Receive an electronic receipt from USCIS within 2-3 weeks and a paper receipt within 3-5 weeks.
Check your status
- Once you get your receipt notice, check your case status with your receipt number at www.uscis.gov.
- Your approval notice and EAD (OPT card) should arrive within 3 months.
- If your application is taking more than 3 months, learn about what you can do.
Let us know immediately
- if you do not receive both receipts within these timelines
- if you notice any mistakes on your EAD
- if you get a denial or request for more information from USCIS