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Can I work with a pending I-485 after my OPT expires?

I recently filed my EB-5 I-485 but my 36-month stem OPT expires within 3 months. If my I-485 is pending and my OPT expires, can I stay in the U.S. and also continue working too?

Answers

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    Stephen Berman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You may not work unless you have an EAD.

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    Belma Demirovic Chinchoy

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can stay in the U.S., but may not continue to work until you receive I-485 based EAD.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You may remain in the U.S. while the I-485 is pending but working requires the approval of the work card, hopefully, you filed an I-765 with the I-485. If not, do so.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    No, you cannot work without authorization. However, since you have OPT with three months on it, you should file Form I-765, Employment Authorization Document(EAD) right, so as to obtain EAD that will allow you to work if your current OPT expires.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Hopefully, you filed an I-765 with your I-485. The filing of the I-485 does not on its own give you the right to work. In fact, if you work for one day without permission, that is a basis to deny your I-485.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you also applied for a new EAD/AP combo card with the I-485, you have to wait for that to be approved too. Three months might be enough, but many EAD/AP requests are taking around five.

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    Daniel B Lundy

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You cannot work once your OPT expires until either your I-485 is approved or USCIS issues you an I-765 employment authorization document (the application for which you hopefully filed with the I-485). If you do so, you are no longer eligible for adjustment of status.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you have a properly-filed I-485, you are considered within a period of authorized stay and may remain in the United States. You need a valid employment authorization document (EAD) in order to legally work, however. You can apply for an EAD on Form I-765, which should have been submitted with your I-485, but you can file it now if you did not do so already. Also, you should talk to an experienced immigration attorney about other options to take before your OPT expires. It is recommended that you try to maintain a valid nonimmigrant status of some kind while your I-485 is pending.