Immigrants who have an unexpired Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) work permit (officially called an EAD or employment authorization document) may wonder about the next steps if they mistakenly lost their card before its expiration date.
Am I Able to Work If I Lose My DACA Work Permit?
Once your DACA work permit has been misplaced, lost, or stolen that does not mean that you lose authorization to work. As long as a copy of your DACA work permit was made and your employer or educational institution has a copy of your work permit you have proof that you are eligible to work.
Additionally, a DACA approval notice from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) should be enough proof to demonstrate to immigration and other authorities that you have a valid DACA status and you should be protected from deportation proceedings during the two-year authorization period. If at some time an end date is stated for the DACA Program, then whether or not an individual should apply for a replacement work permit card will depend on how much time you have remaining with the DACA status.
Filing an Application to Replace Work Permit Does Not Extend One’s DACA Status or Work Authorization
Note that filing a replacement work permit will not extend DACA status or the authorized work period authorization that was initially granted. For example, if an EAD is due to expire in August of 2023 and the EAD was lost or misplaced back in June 2023. It is not recommended to apply for a replacement card, since the processing time for a replacement work permit request might take longer than two months. Also, if the holder of a DACA work permit is already employed there is no need to update the employer that they lost their card. The employer should already have the work permit and expiration date for the DACA EAD card in their system. In such a situation it is not advisable to pay an extra fee for a replacement EAD card.
An I-765 Application to Replace Work Permit Can Be Submitted
As long as there is enough time between the length of work authorization and between the time the DACA EAD card was lost, it could be worthwhile applying for a replacement card, especially if there is an anticipation of getting new employment during this time.
Normal processing times for a replacement card could take several months depending on the service center that handles the applications within that specific location the application was submitted.
Seek Help From an Attorney
Even though retaining the services of an immigration lawyer when filing a replacement for a lost DACA EAD is not necessary, hiring a seasoned immigration attorney can help make the process run more smoothly. Our team at Gambacorta Law Office will gladly assist you. Do not hesitate to call us at 847 443 9303 or visit our website to schedule an appointment.