EAD and Pending I-485 status
If you use an EAD that is based on your pending I-485 application, your visa status may be affected. For this reason it is important to consult with an experienced attorney before using the EAD if the EAD is based on your pending Adjustment of Status application. A person who has filed for an I-485 and who uses an EAD will lose valid non-immigrant status. An F-1 student or H-1B visa holder who does this will be considered to be in I-485 pending status and out of F-1 or H-1B status.
If the I-485 is denied, then the applicant cannot remain in the U.S. and will have to leave. If, however, the applicant does not use the EAD, he/she will be able to retain his/her visa status and remain in the U.S. for the duration of his/her non-immigrant visa, even if the I-485 application is denied.
An F-1 student applies for an I-485 adjustment of status and an EAD. He uses his EAD while the I-485 application is still being processed and while he is still going to school. Currently he is in I-485 pending status. If his I-485 application is denied, he must leave the US, even though he has not completed his studies.
If the F-1 student applies for an I-485 adjustment of status and an EAD and he uses the EAD while the I-485 is being processed, he is in I-485 pending status. If his I-485 application is approved, he will become a permanent resident of the U.S.
If the F-1 student applies for I-485 adjustment of status and an EAD, but does not use the EAD while the I-485 is being processed, his F-1 status is still valid and regardless of the decision pertaining to his I-485 application, he can remain in the U.S. to finish his studies.
If an H-1B visa holder uses his EAD while his I-485 application is pending, he will no longer have H-1B status and will be in I-485 pending status. If the I-485 application is denied, the applicant can no longer stay in the US and will have to leave.
If an H-1B visa holder does not use his I-485-based EAD, he will remain in H-1B status. If the I-485 application is denied, the applicant will be able to remain in the US for the duration of his visa.
(Updated 10/10/2012 by AD)
For more information about the Employment Authorization Document (EAD), please click on one of the following topics below: