USCIS Employment Authorization Card EAD Category Codes

USCIS EAD Category Codes for H4, L2 EAD. Automatic 180 EAD extension for A03, A05, A07, A08, A10, C08, C09, C10, C16, C20, C22, C24, C31 and A12 or C19.

Written by AM22Tech Team
  AM22Tech Team    Updated 10 Mar, 24

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USCIS issues an EAD card for unrestricted employment in the USA. The EAD card is also known as form I-766.

The application form for an EAD card is called form I-765. Form I765 requires an EAD category code to approve your eligibility.

You can use this app to fill out the EAD form, validate all, and make sure the form is not rejected or an RFE is sent by USCIS.

You should write the correct EAD category code to avoid any RFE (request for evidence). The same category code is printed on your EAD card i.e. form I-766.


  1. H4 EAD category code is C(26)
  2. L2 EAD category code is A(18). Recently, USCIS made the changes to allow L2-dependent work just with the use of L2 i94. No need to apply L2 EAD using form i765 separately.
  3. Asylum refugees EAD category code is A(3)
  4. i485 Adjustment of Status EAD category code is (C)(9)
  5. DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) EAD category code is C33
EAD category code on EAD card i766
EAD category code on EAD card i766

USCIS EAD Category Codes

USCIS only allows some EAD categories to keep working even after EAD expiry if you have filed the extension before the current EAD approval expires.

Automatic 180 EAD extension allowed for A03, A05, A07, A08, A10, C08, C09, C10, C16, C20, C22, C24, C31 and A12 or C19.

Code EAD Code Eligibility 180-Day Automatic Extension?
A02 A lawful temporary resident under sections 245A or 210 of the INA N
A03 Refugee Y
A04 Paroled as refugee N
A05 Asylee (granted asylum) Y
  • K-1 nonimmigrant fiancé(e) of U.S. citizen (USC)
  • K-2 child of K-1
  • N-8 Parent of international organization employee granted permanent residence
  • N-9 Dependent Child of international organization employee granted permanent residence
A08 Citizen of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, or Palau admitted as a non-immigrant Y
  • K-3 nonimmigrant spouse of USC
  • K-4 child of K-3
A10 Granted Withholding of Deportation or Removal Y
A11 Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) N
A12 Temporary Protected Status (TPS) granted under 8 CFR 244.12 Y
A13 IMMACT Family Unity beneficiary (Section 301 of the Immigration Act of 1990) N
A14 LIFE Act Family Unity beneficiary (Section 1504 of the Legal Immigrant Family Equity (LIFE) Act Amendments) N
  • V-1 Spouse of Lawful Permanent Resident
  • V-2 Minor unmarried child of Lawful Permanent Resident
  • V-3 Minor unmarried child of V-1 or V-2
A16 T-1 nonimmigrant (victims of a severe form of trafficking) N
  • Spouse of E-1/E-2 Treaty Trader/Investor
  • Spouse of E-3 specialty occupation professional from Australia
A18 L-2 spouse of an L-1 intracompany transfer (L-1: Individuals in the U.S. who have been transferred from a subsidiary, affiliate, or branch office overseas to the U.S. to work in an executive, managerial or specialized knowledge capacity


No need to file EAD. Can work using L2 i94.

A19 U-1 nonimmigrant (victims of certain criminal activity) N
  • U-2 spouse of U-1 aliens
  • U-3 children of U-1 aliens
  • U-4 parents of minor U-1 aliens (16 or under)
  • U-5 unmarried sibling under age 18 of U-1 alien under age 21
C01 Dependents of A-1 or A-2 foreign government official N
C02 Dependent of TECRO (Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office) E-1 non-immigrant) N
C03A Pre-completion OPT F-1 students N
C03B Post-completion OPT F-1 students N
C03C 24-month extension for Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM) OPT students N
C03(ii) F-1 student offered off-campus employment under the Sponsorship of Qualifying International Organization N
C03(iii) F-1 student seeking off-campus employment due to severe economic hardship N
C04 Spouse or unmarried dependent child of G-1, G-3, or G-4 nonimmigrant (Representative of International Organization and their dependents) N
C05 J-2 spouse or minor child of a J-1 exchange visitor N
C06 M-1 student seeking practical training after completing studies N
C07 Dependent of NATO-1 through NATO-7 non-immigrant N
C08 Asylum applicant (w/ pending asylum application) who filed for asylum on or after January 4, 1995 Y

Adjustment of status (i485)

This is also known as green card EAD. People who are waiting for their GC approval are eligible for this EAD. How to apply for green card EAD renewal.

Most times, USCIS issues a combo card for EAD and Advance parole.

  • Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) section 203 applicants Applicant for suspension of deportation
  • The applicant for cancellation of removal
C11 An alien paroled into the United States in the public interest or temporarily for emergency reasons N
C12 Spouse of an E-2 Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) investor; eligible for employment in the CNMI only N
C14 Alien granted deferred action N
C16 Registry applicant based on continuous residence since January 1, 1972 N
C17(i) B-1 nonimmigrant who is the personal or domestic servant of a nonimmigrant employer N
C17(ii) B-1 nonimmigrant domestic servant of a U.S. citizen N
C17(iii) B-1 nonimmigrant employed by a foreign airline N
C18 Alien with a final order of deportation/order of supervision; N
C19 Temporary Protected Status applicant under 8 CFR 244.5 Y
C20 An alien who has filed a completed legalization application for special agricultural workers Y
C22 An alien who has filed a completed legalization application under INA 245A Y
C24 LIFE legalization applicant Y
  • T-2 spouse of T-1, the victim of trafficking
  • T-3 child of T-1
  • T-4 parent of T-1 (if T-1 is under age 21)

H4 Dependents of H1B Visa worker 

It is also known as H4-EAD in general language


Auto Extension rule

  • The principal beneficiary of an approved VAWA self-petition
  • Qualified child of a beneficiary of an approved VAWA self-petition
C33 An alien who has been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) N
C35 The principal beneficiary of an approved employment-based immigrant petition facing compelling circumstances N
C36 Spouse or unmarried child of a principal beneficiary of an approved employment-based immigrant petition facing compelling circumstances. N

Related: Current EAD processing time


Written by AM22Tech Team
  AM22Tech Team