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Instructions for Pending Asylum Employment Authorization

Use these instructions to apply for Work Authorization after USCIS has received your Application for Asylum.

Use these instructions if:

  • At least 150 days have passed since USCIS received your asylum application, and
  • Your asylum application has not been denied, and
  • You are not in removal proceedings.

Have you read the Frequently Asked Questions and related Articles?

These instructions are part of this TexasLawHelp.org Toolkit: Asylum. Before getting started, it’s important to read the Frequently Asked Questions and Articles included in the Toolkit.

WARNING! These instructions provide general information, not legal advice. It’s a good idea to talk with a lawyer about your particular situation.

You can print these instructions to use as a checklist.

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Step 1: Determine the date USCIS received your application

To do this, look on the Receipt Notice sent to you by USCIS. The receipt notice will specify a “Receipt Date” at the top of the notice. You must count 150 days from that date, not the date you mailed your application, to determine when you are eligible to apply for employment authorization.

Any delay in processing the asylum application that is caused by you, including not appearing for your fingerprinting appointment, will not be counted as part of that 150 days. If you fail to appear for your asylum interview or for a hearing before an immigration judge, you will be ineligible for an Employment Authorization Document.

If you have received a recommended approval for a grant of asylum, you do not need to wait the 150 days and may apply for an Employment Authorization Document immediately upon receipt of your recommended approval.

If you file Form I-765 early, it will be denied.

Step 2: Fill out Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, as Eligibility Category (c)(8)

You can find Form I-765 and the instructions for Form I-765 on the USCIS website, or by clicking here.

  • Remember, fill out the form completely and be honest with every answer.
  • If you do not know an answer, write “UNKNOWN”. If the question does not apply to you, write, “N/A”.
  • On Page 2, Question 20. Eligibility Category, enter “( ) (c) (8)”. This is the category for an asylum applicant with a pending asylum application.
  • Make sure your application is signed. If the applicant is under the age of 14, a parent may sign the application.

Gather all required documents.

You must include:

  • A copy of Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record (front and back), if available.
  • A copy of your last Employment Authorization Document  (front and back). If no prior Employment Authorization Document has been issued, you must submit a copy of a government-issued identity document, such as a passport showing your picture, name, and date of birth; a birth certificate with photo ID; a visa issued by a foreign consulate; or a national ID document with photo and/or fingerprint.
  • Two passport-style photographs of yourself taken within 30 days of filing your application. Make sure your complete name and A-number is on the back of each photograph.

Evidence that your Form I-589 was filed. This may include your I-589 receipt notice or a copy of the USCIS acknowledgement mailer which was mailed to you.

Step 3: File (turn in) your Signed Application for Employment Authorization

Applications for Employment Authorization Category (c)(8) must be filed at the USCIS Dallas Lockbox.

  • For U.S. Postal Service (USPS), use the following address:


Attn: I-765

P.O. Box 650888

Dallas, TX 75265-0888


  • For FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries, use the following address:


Attn: I-765

2501 S. State Hwy. 121 Business

Suite 400

Lewisville, TX 75067


Don’t forget to sign your employment authorization application. Unsigned applications will be rejected.

Filing Fee: If this is your initial (first) employment authorization application, you do not have to pay the filing fee. If this is not your initial employment authorization application, you must include the current filing fee. You may pay the fee with a money order, personal check, or cashier’s check, made payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. To verify the current filing fee, you can check the USCIS website for the I-765 and click on “Filing Fee”.