What is the difference between an H-1B and an EAD?

On Behalf of | Nov 2, 2022 | Immigration Explained

The H1-B visa and the EAD card are two of the most popular visa types for immigrants in the United States. However, many people do not know the difference between these two visas. 

This blog post will compare and contrast the H1-B visa and the EAD card and explain which is better for you.

Immigration status is a key factor

The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. 

To qualify for an H-1B visa, applicants must have at least a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent in their field of expertise. The H-1B is valid for up to three years and can be renewed for another three years. After six years, holders of an H-1B visa must leave the US for at least one year before reapplying for another H-1B visa. 

The H-1B visa program is highly sought after; each year, the number of applications far exceeds the number of visas available. As a result, a lottery system is in place to award visas. For 2022, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) received 308,613 applications and selected 131,970. 

The Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that provides employment authorization to non-citizens in the United States. The document is also commonly known as a work permit. 

To be eligible for an EAD, an applicant must have a valid immigration status allowing employment in the United States. It is important to note that an EAD does not provide authorization to work in any specific job; it simply allows the holder to work lawfully in the United States. 

Many people try to go through the process of obtaining a work visa on their own, but it is highly recommended that you seek professional help. Working with someone who understands immigration law can help you through the process and ensure your application is as strong as possible.