People who plan to visit the United States either to live or work are required by law to possess a green card or Employment Authorization Documents (EAD). The EAD is also the work permit. However, most people are always inclined to seek out a green card first as opposed to an EAD.
It is understandable because becoming a permanent resident may be the ultimate goal but having an EAD is also an available option as you get to legally work and live in the US during the period that you are applying for your green card.
An individual (immigrants) will be granted with an EAD card when they have pending immigration petition to become a permanent resident by filing form I-765.
How Does Ead Contrast to a Green Card?
• Permanent Over the Temporary Status
With a green card, you will always be allowed to work in the US because you are considered a permanent resident. However, the EAD is temporary, and you cannot obtain work by itself. A work permit must be a benefit of an underlying status. For instance, it is impossible to go to the US and apply for a work permit because you want to work in the US. You must have a right to obtain the work permit, usually an employment visa. When your reason to have a work permit is over, then your work permit expires.
This means having a pending employment visa can allow you to apply for a work permit, but if the employment visa gets denied, then your work permit becomes invalid.
A permanent status green card stays valid for ten years, and even after it has expired, you are still considered a lawful US resident. However, similar to a work permit, you can lose your green card. Some of the reasons include; denouncing your US citizenship, committing a crime, and tax-related frauds.
• Qualification for Naturalization
Naturalization is a process that grants an individual US citizenship status, thereby granting access to certain privileges like voting or vying for a public seat. Naturalization is only possible for holders of green cards. Non-citizens who live and work in the US are not allowed certain privileges. The major advantage between the gc ead card is that a green card is used to identify foreign individuals as persons with lawful permanent residence. All US citizens and green card holders are not required to produce EADs to prove they are eligible for employment as it is an inherent benefit.
• Traveling Internationally
To reenter the United States after having traveled abroad, you are required to produce documents that validate your visit or stay in the US. Green cards are legal documents that can grant you re-entry while an EAD will not.
Besides allowing you to travel in and out of the country freely, a green card also allows you to file for petitions for your spouse and unmarried children to live with you in the US.
A work permit is not a visa and cannot be used to justify your reasons to be in the United States. You will need more supporting documents like the employment visa.
Read Also: 6 Best Nightlife Cities in the USA
You can have a conditional green card valid for only two years. In such instances, if you do no take the necessary steps to renew your green card status to permanent status, then your stay in the Us becomes finite.
Similarly, EAD cards also range in their validity period. Ordinarily, EAD’s are only valid for a period not more than two years before you have to renew them. But there are instances where it can be granted for less. For example, if an individual is in the US on a fiancé visa, they are eligible for EAD of 90 days before expiry.
What This Means Legally
If your green card expires, you will not lose your status as a permanent resident in the US but if your EAD expires you will not be allowed to obtain work legally, and your stay in the US should come to an end.
However, in similarity, you can still be deported if you have both the green card and the EAD. Only US citizens by naturalization can never be deported.