On February 11, 2011, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it is issuing a single card that will authorize both employment and international travel (referred to in this context as “Advance Parole”) for certain green card applicants. The new card appears identical to the current I-766 Employment Authorization Document (EAD) but adds an annotation that states “Serves as I-512 Advance Parole.” This card will replace the old paper version of Form I-512 Advance Parole, at least in those cases where an applicant with a pending I-485 Adjustment of Status (green card) application requests both an EAD and an Advance Parole.

By way of background, foreign nationals inside the United States who seek a lawful permanent resident (LPR, or “green card”) status file Form I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. While the I-485 adjustment of status (AOS) application is pending, the applicant also may need to file Form I-765 to receive employment authorization (an EAD) and Form I-131 to receive international travel authorization, or Advance Parole. Until now, those documents always have been issued separately.

Employers also should take note of the change to the I-766 EAD. The new dual purpose cards remain valid documents on List A on the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form. For more information on the new card, see the USCIS press release and FAQ.

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Ogletree Deakins has one of the largest business immigration practices in the United States and provides a wide range of legal services for employers seeking temporary business visas and permanent residence on behalf of foreign national employees.

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