What is an I-765 EAD/AP Combo Card?

On February 11, 2011, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued, the so-called “combo card” which is an Employment Authorization Document (also known as a work permit or EAD) along with the Advance Parole permission (which allows for people to travel and return to the U.S without abandoning their pending green card application). The net result is that the beneficiary does not have to carry around two separate items. While the EAD was always a plastic identification card the advance parole permission formerly came as paperwork.

The convenience of consolidating these two items doesn’t come with much in the way of other benefits to the recipients. Particularly, it:

  • Is not available to everyone. USCIS will provide this combo card only to people applying for an adjustment of status which is the procedure for obtaining a U.S. green card. The applicants must be residing lawfully in the U.S. in most instances. Applicants for a work permit or an advance parole on any other grounds must settle for the old system of carrying two separate documents.
  • Will not lower your fees. When applying for an adjustment of status, the fee is estimated to include Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization Document and Form I-131, Application for Travel Document. Even if the decision was made to choose to submit one or both of the latter two forms, it would not lower your overall fee and neither will receiving a combo card. Even if a recipient loses his combo card or it was damaged and a new one is required, the applicant will still need to file both Form I-765 and I-131 simultaneously and pay both fees at once. Talk to an immigration attorney to find out more about the fees.
  • Will not be issued if the applications get separated. Case in point, if USCIS denies the I-131 application but issues the I-765 work permit, a combo card will not be provided. If in that situation a mistake was made in the I-131 application and it was resubmitted at a later time, the applicant must understand that he or she will receive a regular set of advance parole paperwork. Similarly, if the I-765 and I-131 were filed at different dates or different packages, USCIS will combine both applications but still will not grant a combo card.

Seek Advice from an Immigration Attorney

If you want to know more about the combo card and how it works consult with a seasoned immigration attorney. Call the Gambacorta Law Office at 847 908 4913 for a free first consultation.