Effective November 21, 2022, Afghans paroled under Operation Allies Welcome (OAW) and certain Afghans paroled under Operation Enduring Welcome (OEW) are eligible to work in the United States immediately while they wait for their employment authorization document (EAD). 


This policy update applies to Afghan parolees whose unexpired Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, contains a class of admission of “OAR,” if their parole has not been terminated. If you are an Afghan parolee covered under section 2502(b), P.L. No. 117-43 who did not receive an “OAR” class of admission on your I-94, please contact CBP at oawi94adjustments@cbp.dhs.gov to update your class of admission, if appropriate.


While you can work immediately, to continue to work legally, you need to submit Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If your application is approved, you will be issued an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). If you already have an EAD, you do not need to do anything. 


How to Apply for an EAD 

To apply for employment authorization, you can submit Form I-765 either by mail or online through the USCIS website. To file online visit my.uscis.gov, create a USCIS online account and submit Form I-765. There is no cost to create an account, which offers a variety of features, including the ability to communicate with USCIS about your application through a secure inbox.  Effective November 21, 2022, there is no fee to submit an INITIAL Form I-765 by mail and effective December 5, 2022, there is no fee to submit the form online. 


Filing Online:

To obtain the fee exemption when filing Form I-765 online for an initial or replacement EAD:

  • In the basis of eligibility section, provide your “eligibility category”
  • For the category under which you are applying, select “c(11) Afghanistan Parolee” from the drop-down
  • Select your reason for applying as either “Initial permission to accept employment” or “Replacement of lost, stolen, or damaged employment authorization document or correction of my employment authorization document NOT DUE to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services error”, as appropriate
  • Review and submit your application to receive $0 fee.


Filing By Mail:

Mail your paper Form I-765 to the address provided on our USCIS Lockbox Filing Locations Chart for Certain Family-Based Forms  page for the filing address based on where you live. Below are some tips for completing Form I-765:

  • In Part 1, Reason for Applying, select “1.a., Initial permission to accept employment” or “1.b. Replacement of lost, stolen or damaged…”
  • In Part 2, list your country of birth as “Afghanistan.” (Questions 19.c.) and/or your country of citizenship as “Afghanistan” (Questions 18.a. and 18.b.)
  • In Part 2, Question 27, Information About Your Eligibility Category, write in “(c)(11).” This is the category number for parolees. For more information, see the Form I-765  webpage.
  • Locate a copy of your Form I-94, passport, or other travel document showing you were paroled into the United States for urgent humanitarian reasons or reasons of significant public benefit under INA 212(d)(5). For more information on obtaining a Form I-94, see the CBP  Form I-94 webpage.

-If you do not have a passport, you can use your A-Number to retrieve your Form I-94 online at the site above by choosing “Get Most Recent I-94.” Enter your A-Number in the Passport Number field and enter “USA” in the Passport Country of Issuance field.

  • Be sure to complete all sections of the form. We will reject the form if any of these fields are missing:
    • Part 1 - Reason for Applying
    • Part 2 - Family Name
    • Part 2 - Date of Birth
    • Part 2 - Address
    • Part 2 - Eligibility Category
    • Part 3 - Signature
  • Submit Form I-765 with a copy of the Form I-94, passport, or other travel document described above.

Information on Applying for Jobs Before You Receive Your EAD

When you apply for a job, you will be required by the employer to fill out form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Form I-9 includes a list of documents a prospective employee can provide to verify they are eligible to work. Under the new rules, your unexpired Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record can be substituted for an EAD as a List A document for 90 days from the date of hire.  Individuals who received their Form I-94 at the time of their parole into the United States should visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Form I-94 website to view and print a copy of their Form I-94.

After 90 days from date of hire, parolees must present an unexpired Form I-765, Employment Authorization Document (EAD), or unrestricted Social Security card and acceptable List B identity document from the Form I-9 Lists of Acceptable Documents (such as a state-issued driver’s license or identification card). USCIS will provide additional guidance to employers about completion of the Form I-9.

Note that a Social Security card that contains no employment restrictions is not available to parolees and individuals who are not admitted to the United States on a permanent basis. See the Social Security Administration’s Types of Social Security Cards webpage.

If a potential employer insists they need your EAD or isn’t aware of this new change, parolees can share this link to the USCIS website that explains the change:  https://www.e-verify.gov/about-e-verify/whats-new/certain-afghan-and-ukrainian-parolees-are-employment-authorized-incident.  

If they still do not accept the substitute document, call the Immigrant and Employee Rights Section's (IER) https://www.justice.gov/crt/immigrant-and-employee-rights-section toll-free Worker Hotline at 1-800-255-7688 [Voice] or 1-800-237-2515 [TTY]. IER helps workers by calling employers and explaining proper verification practices. Interpretation is available on the hotline upon request.  


For more information, visit:  https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/information-for-afghan-nationals