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A U.S. work permit, or “Employment Authorization Document” (EAD), is a photo identity card that shows certain non-citizens’ right to work in the United States. It is different than a green card, though green cards also come with the right to work.
Work permits are primarily used by non-U.S.-citizens who are in the United States temporarily, such as on a student visa, with temporary protected status, accompanying their spouse on a business or exchange visitor visa, or in some other category that similarly allows people to apply to work if they wish.
The application for a work permit is made on Form I-765, issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).