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How can I work legally with an I-485 EAD and a pending OPT EAD?

I am on an F-1 visa but got an EAD card based on my I-485 application, which is still pending. Upon graduation, the designated school official from my college advised me to apply for OPT in order to maintain my F-1 status until my adjustment of status is approved. According to him, applying for OPT will maintain my F-1 status while I wait for the green card application outcome. But he does not know if I can work legally with the I-485 EAD while waiting for my OPT EAD. I recently received a job offer. Should I file application for the OPT EAD? If so, can I work with the I-485 EAD while my OPT EAD is pending?

Answers

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    Marisa Casablanca

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    What you were advised is very wise. You should continue your F-1 status under the OPT program. Yes. You can work with your I-485 EAD in the meanwhile.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can work with I-485 EAD.

  • Avatar

    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Unless I am missing something, I am not sure why you would file for an OPT EAD when you already have an EAD based on your pending I-485. It would not only be duplicative but money and time wasted in filing for another EAD. Also, not even sure you would be approved for an OPT-based EAD when you are no longer maintaining non-immigrant status per se (since you have a pending adjustment of status to permanent residence).

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    Belma Chinchoy

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You no longer need OPT or F-1. You can work on I-485 EAD.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I would advise you to work with the OPT EAD instead of I-485 EAD so that you could maintain your current status until you get your conditional green card. If you work under the I-485 EAD, you are giving up on your F-1 status as of that time and if for any reason your I-485 is denied, you do not have another status to fall back on.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can apply for the OPT (I-20 endorsement), but indicate you have the work card through the c9 application so do not need to file and pay for the I-765.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The I-485 EAD is good enough and it is even better than OPT EAD for several reasons. You can work with it and you do not need OPT EAD.

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    Dale Schwartz

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, you can.

  • Avatar

    Kyle Barella

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You are permitted to work legally with the EAD received from filing the I-485. You are not required to apply for OPT.

  • Avatar

    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, you should apply for the OPT EAD. But note that one has restrictions as to the number of days of unemployment and terms of employment, whereas the adjustment based on has no restrictions. So if you sure you will not have unemployment in excess of 90 days, you can apply for the OPT one in addition and work on the adjustment pending one meanwhile. I think your advisor is smart; it is good to have a fall back position.

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