Understanding the I-765 Form: The Applicant’s Declaration and Certification

Form-I-765-Application-For-Employment-Authorization (7)

The journey towards obtaining or renewing employment authorization in the United States is a crucial step in the lives of many immigrants. At the heart of this process lies the I-765 form, officially known as the Application for Employment Authorization. Within this form, there exists a pivotal section, the (Applicant’s Declaration and Certification). This section plays a significant role in the application process and the verification of the applicant’s eligibility for employment authorization.

This crucial section is located on page 4 of the I-765 form, specifically in Part 3, titled “Applicant’s Statement, Contact Information, Declaration, Certification, and Signature.” When applicants reach this portion of the form, it is essential to take the time to carefully read and understand the statements before proceeding to complete the application.

The Vital “Applicant’s Declaration and Certification” Section

7.a. Applicant’s Signature

Is the designated space on the form where the applicant physically signs their name. This signature holds significant legal importance, as it signifies the applicant’s understanding and agreement with the statements and declarations made in the application. It also serves as a form of identity verification and confirms that all information provided in the application is authorized by the applicant.

The applicant’s signature serves as a legally binding attestation, confirming that they have reviewed and understood all the information contained in their application. Additionally, the signature affirms that all information provided is complete, true, and correct at the time of filing.

7.b. Date of Signature (mm/dd/yyyy)

Is the field for the applicant to enter the date when they sign the form. The required date format is month/day/year (mm/dd/yyyy). This date is essential for record-keeping and documentation purposes. It helps track when the applicant affirmed their commitment to the application’s statements. Additionally, the date ensures that the application is submitted within any specified deadlines or timeframes relevant to the application category.

In summary, “7.a. Applicant’s Signature” is where the applicant physically signs their name, signifying their commitment and understanding of the application’s contents. “7.b. Date of Signature (mm/dd/yyyy)” is where the applicant records the date of their signature, which is crucial for documentation and adherence to filing deadlines.

A Fictional Example: Raj Patel

Form-I-765-Application-For-Employment-Authorization (8) (1)

Let’s take a closer look at how the “Applicant’s Declaration and Certification” section works in practice by following the journey of Raj Patel, an Indian national who is in the United States pursuing his dream career.

Raj Patel’s Signature

7.a. Applicant’s Signature
7.b. Date of Signature (mm/dd/yyyy)

Raj Patel’s Application Signature: [Raj’s Signature] Date of Signature: [Date of Signature, e.g., 02/25/2024]

Raj Patel diligently signed the “Applicant’s Signature” field on Form I-765 on [Date of Signature]. This signature signifies his commitment to the statements made in the declaration and the legal implications of his application. Raj’s adherence to the guidelines demonstrates his dedication to a transparent and lawful application process, taking him one step closer to realizing his career aspirations in the United States.

When to File Form I-765

Filing Form I-765 for employment authorization requires precise timing to ensure the seamless continuation of your employment or the successful processing of your application. The timing of your application submission is particularly important for specific categories and situations. Here’s what you need to know:

Renewal of Employment Authorization Card (EAD)

  • Filers wishing to renew an existing Employment Authorization Document (EAD) should file Form I-765 within six months of the expiration date on their current EAD.
  • It is recommended not to file a request to renew your EAD more than 180 days before the expiration of your EAD. USCIS generally does not backdate or postdate the renewal EAD in relation to your current EAD’s validity period.
  • To renew your Employment Authorization Document, file Form I-765 at least 90 days prior to the expiration.

Please refer to the Form I-765 instructions for information on other specific categories.

Specific Filing Categories and Timelines

For different categories, there are specific guidelines on when to file Form I-765:

  • (a)(20): You may file Form I-765 at the same time as Form I-918, Supplement A, Petition for Qualifying Family Member of U-1 Recipient, or at a later date.
  • (c)(3)(A): File Form I-765 up to 90 days before being enrolled for one full academic year, provided that the period of employment will not start before you have completed one full academic year.
  • (c)(3)(B): File Form I-765 up to 90 days before, but no later than 60 days after your program end date. You must file your Form I-765 within 30 days of the date that your Designated School Official (DSO) enters the recommendation for Optional Practical Training (OPT) into your SEVIS record.
  • (c)(3)(C): File Form I-765 up to 90 days before the expiration of your current OPT, if you are requesting a 24-month STEM extension.
  • (c)(6): File Form I-765 with a copy of the Form I-20 endorsed by the DSO certifying eligibility for employment, together with Form I-539, Application to Change/Extend Nonimmigrant Status, if applicable. Ensure these forms are received by USCIS before, but not more than 90 days before, your program end date.
  • (c)(8): Asylum applicants must wait 150 days before applying for an EAD, and an additional 30 days before USCIS can issue the EAD, for a total of 180 days starting from when the I-589 asylum application is filed.

If you have received a Recommended Approval notice from the USCIS asylum office recommending a grant of asylum, you do not need to wait 150 days and may apply for an EAD immediately upon receipt of this notice. Provide a copy of your notice as evidence of your recommended approval with your Form I-765.

  • (c)(9): File Form I-765 together with Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, or if filing separately, submit a copy of your I-485 receipt notice to show that your I-485 is pending.
  • (c)(10): If you are eligible to apply for NACARA 203 relief with USCIS, you may file Form I-765 together with your Form I-881, Application for Suspension of Deportation or Special Rule Cancellation of Removal (Pursuant to Section 203 of Public Law 105-100 (NACARA)).
  • (c)(11): File Form I-765 with sufficient evidence to show that your parole status is current and has not expired or is about to expire.
  • (c)(26): You may file Form I-765 at the same time as your Form I-539 and your H1-B spouse’s Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker.
  • (c)(36): You may file your Form I-765 with your spouse’s or parent’s application under (c)(35).
  • (c)(37): You must file Form I-765 together with your Form I-955, Application for CNMI Long-Term Resident Status.

Filing Form I-765 is a precise process, and adhering to these timelines is crucial to avoid any disruptions in your employment status.

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