The Shapiro Law Firm, LLC
Attorneys & Counselors at Law

Employment Authorization Document (EAD) & TRAVEL DOCUMENTs

Work legally, return safely.

Employment Authorization Document (EAD)

Who needs an EAD to work in the U.S.?

Unless you are a U.S. CitizenPermanent Resident or in the U.S. on a valid Nonimmigrant Work Visa, you are not authorized to work here without first obtaining an EAD or "Work Permit." Working in violation of this law can prevent you from obtaining certain immigration benefits in the future and can even land you in Removal Proceedings. If you have worked in the U.S. without authorization and are worried about how this may effect your immigration status or eligibility for an immigration benefit, contact our experienced work permit lawyers today for help.

Am I eligible for an EAD?

In order to be eligible for an EAD, you must fit into one of the allotted categories.  Generally, these categories require an underlying petition or application filed on your behalf that is either pending at the time you file for an EAD or has been approved.  

Contact us to find out if you are eligible for an EAD!


Sample of front and back of Employment Authorization Document (without travel document combination)

Sample of front and back of Employment Authorization Document (without travel document combination)


Travel Document (Advance Parole/ Re-entry Permit)

What is a Travel Document?

Travel Documents allow non-citizens to return to the U.S. after temporary foreign travel.  Many grounds of inadmissibility are not triggered until an individual departs the U.S.  Although you should not face any difficulties leaving the country, if you plan to return to the U.S., you will need a Travel Document to present at the border. The different categories of Travel Documents hold important distinctions.

What is the difference between Travel Document categories?

  1. Reentry Permit: Issued to Permanent & Conditional Residents who plan to be outside the U.S. frequently or for extended periods of time in order to prevent abandonment of Permanent Resident status. *You must be physically present in the U.S. when applying for a Reentry Permit. You CANNOT apply for a Reentry Permit outside the U.S.

  2. Refugee Travel Document: Issued to individuals who are in the U.S. in valid Refugee or Asylee status who seek to depart the U.S. and return after temporary foreign travel. Asylees/ Refugees will not be permitted to reenter the U.S. without a valid Travel Document.  

    *Your Refugee or Asylee status will terminate if you travel to the country from which you claimed persecution.*

  3. Advance Parole: Allows an individual to enter the U.S. for a specific purpose. Unlike Reentry Permits & Refugee Travel Documents, if you enter the country as a Parolee, you are not considered "admitted" into the country.  Rather, you remain an "applicant for admission," and thus cannot cure a previous unlawful entry (Click here to learn more about Inadmissibility).

Example of Travel Document

In the past, EAD cards and Travel Documents have always been issued on separate documents. Today, depending on your category of eligibility you may be issued an EAD Card that serves as both your work authorization as well as your travel document to reenter the country after foreign travel.


If your EAD card contains this statement, then you may also use it to travel outside the United States.

**However, merely being issued a Travel Document does NOT ensure that you will be allowed to reenter the country. It is thus strongly advised to consult with an experienced immigration attorney prior to departing the United States to ensure that there are no bars to your reentry.


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