An EAD (Employment Authorization Document) is the authority for Dependants of NATO-2 and A-2 Visa Holders to work, including voluntary work, within the USA. The Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is a requirement under the United States law for dependants of Service Personnel or United Kingdom British Citizens (UKBCs) to undertake paid employment for the duration of their spouse’s tour in the US. In the case of some US States, you are also required to be in possession of an EAD to qualify for a State driving licence.
This guide provides guidance on how to complete individual forms and provides information relating to required supporting documentation.
Note: If the applicant’s spouse (sponsor) works at the British Embassy in Washington DC on an A-2 VISA, please contact the Embassy Protocol team for instructions.
First, send an email to the support group explaining that you are embarking on the EAD application process. The team will respond to your mail with several files, forms and guidance notes attached.
- Accreditation Proforma
- Command Verification Letter
- The I-566 Interagency Record of Request (Google I-566) One copy typed, printed and signed.
- The I-765 Form (Google I-765) One copy typed, printed and signed.
- Copy of the applicant and sponsor’s passport VISA page.
- Copy of applicant and sponsor’s passport biography page.
- Copy of the applicant and sponsor’s I-94 which can be found by following the process on the US Customs and Border Protection website (Google I-94)
- Current JPA Assignment Order (full copy)
- 2 x US Passport Photos (2” x 2”) taken within the past 30 days. Your Colour photos must be:
Printed on photo quality paper
Taken within the last 3 months
2 inches by 2 inches (51 x 51 mm) in size
Sized such that the head is between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches (between 25 and 35 mm) from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head. The eye height must be between 1 1/8 inches to 1 3/8 inches (28mm – 35mm) from the bottom of the photo
Taken in front of a plain white background. It cannot be grey, light grey, blue, light blue or tan
Taken in full-view directly facing the camera
Taken with a neutral facial expression and both eyes open
Taken in clothing that you normally wear on a daily basis
Do not wear uniforms in your photo, except religious clothing that is worn daily
Do not wear a hat or head covering that obscures the hair or hairline, unless worn daily for a religious purpose. Your full face must be visible, and the head covering must not cast any shadows on your face.
- An A4 Size copy of Marriage Certificate (if applicant and sponsor do not share same last name).
- Copy of front and back of Current EAD (for renewals only)
- A signed copy of your Proof of State and Federal Tax Filing and Payment (for renewals only)
Accreditation form information
The information listed on the Accreditation Form should be typed and a copy included with all other EAD documentation. When completing this form, the “principal post holder” is the person appointed or posted to the USA for the purposes of a specific position. A “dependant” is the principal person’s Spouse and/or all accompanying family members residing with the principal in the USA.
The Department of State requires that NATO 2 VISA holders and the dependants who apply for an EAD are accredited prior to sending their application form. The accreditation is done by Embassy staff and subsequently the US Department issues a Personal Identification Number (PID). The PID number is then added to the Form I-566 by the Embassy staff prior to submission to Protocol, who in turn will send your application to the US authorities for processing.
The I-566 Form (typed and signed)
I-566 Interagency Record of Request is to be typed and signed in black pen. Most of the information on the form is self-explanatory; applicants should complete Parts 1 to 5. The following boxes in the relevant parts are not self-explanatory and should contain the following information:
a. Part 1
- Box 2a – 2e – US Mailing address: Please add in the care of: Amanda Gurney British Embassy, 3100 Massachusetts Ave, N.W., Washington DC 20008 (please do not use your home address here).
- Box 4a – 4e Physical address – Please enter your US home address. (Some people find it hard to type this section. If so, please add in black pen in neat capital letters).
- Box 10 should read NONE
- Box 11 for new applicants should be blank. If a US Social Security Number is held, please add.
- Box 12 The PID is added after Accreditation by the Embassy staff.
- Box 15a is the Admission (I-94) Record Number on the applicant’s I-94 printout.
- Box 16 is the ‘most recent date of entry’ on the applicants I-94 printout.
- Box 17 is NATO-2 (or A2)
b. Part 2
- Box 3 End of tour date must match the date in the assignment order and command verification letter
- Box 4 – simple description of your job – not your rank or service. See JAP/AO
- Box 7 The PID is added after Accreditation by the Embassy staff.
- Box 9 is the ‘Admission (I-94) Record Number’ on the applicants I-94 printout
c. Part 3 is self-explanatory
d. Part 4 is self-explanatory. Please remember to sign in black ink and date. If the applicant is between 16 to 18 years old and doesn’t understand the declaration, then parental advice and guidance might be necessary.
The I-765 form (typed and signed)
Most of the information on the form I-765 is self-explanatory. Applicants must complete all the form. Where not applicable, place NONE
The following boxes are not self-explanatory and should contain the following information:
Box 2a provide maiden name (if applicable) or any other name used. Use NONE if no other names used.
Box 5a -5e: US Mailing address: Please add in the care of: Amanda Gurney British Embassy, 3100 Massachusetts Ave, N.W., Washington DC 20008 (please do not use your home address here).
Box 6 Tick the No box
Box 7a through 7e Physical address – Please enter your US home address. (Some people find it hard to type this section. If so, please add in black pen in neat capital letters)
Box 14 If YES then complete all boxes up to 17b
Box 19a Place of birth
Box 19b County of birth
Box 19c Birth Country
Box 24 NATO-2 Dependant
Box 25 NATO 2 Dependant Spouse (or Child)
Box 27 If NATO 2 visa holder, add C in first box and 7 in second box – leave third box empty. (If A2 visa holder, enter C, then number 1)
All remaining Part 2 boxes – state NONE or 0 or leave blank.
Box 1a – tick box
Box 3 to 5 should be completed as appropriate
Box 7a Sign in black ink and date 7b. If the applicant is between 16 and 18 years old and doesn’t understand the declaration, then parental advice and guidance might be necessary.
Part 4 – Leave all part 4 boxes blank
Only complete if, after guidance from a parent, the applicant is not able to understand and complete the form themselves. If this is the case, then the parent should act as a Preparer and complete Part 5. The preparer should also sign alongside the applicant’s signature on Part 3 Box 7a.
Complete as necessary.
Applicants are required to provide two 2” x 2” photographs: taken within the last 30 days and should NOT have been used previously for passport or VISA. There should not be any shadows or hair covering the face. Do not date the photographs; this will be done by Embassy staff once the application has been processed. Both photographs are to contain the name of the applicant and “British Embassy” in pencil on the back side.
The standard and guidance for the photos may be found at the US Department of State website. (Google US Passport Photographs)
Copy of Marriage Certificate
An A4 size copy of the marriage certificate should be provided for an applicant that does not share the same surname as the sponsor on their passport. For individuals married overseas, an English translation of any foreign marriage certificate should be provided.
Copy of Current EAD
If the application is a renewal, a copy of the current EAD (front and back) should be included. This photocopy should be clear and legible. If, when receiving your original EAD, you retained the Mailer card containing information relating to the card, you should include a copy as this will speed up your application for an extension or replacement card.
Proof of Tax Filing
Note: Tax Return Transcript not sufficient for this purpose.
Federal Taxes: Applicants who are applying for a renewal EAD must submit a Federal (Internal Revenue Service) Tax Account Transcript or Record of Account Transcript. The Tax Account Transcript or Record of Account Transcript should be provided for such years previously authorized to work in the United States. The applicant should sign and date the copy of the tax return.
State Taxes: Applicants who are applying for a renewal EAD must submit a signed copy of the State Tax Return from the State where they live for such years previously authorized to work in the United States. The applicant should sign the copy of the tax return.
NATO-2 VISA holders should read the guidance notes relating to tax filing for both State and Federal returns found on the various department’s relevant web pages.
You should firstly determine your current tax status – see the guidance below:
Filing your taxes in the USA:
Guidance relating to tax filing issued by the IRS and the Office of Foreign Missions (OFM) to NATO-VISA holders has recently changed. Individuals wishing to file taxes must bear the responsibility of determining their correct tax status before filing. Please be aware that your tax status can change between the first, second and third tax years. A-2 VISA status filing is not the same as NATO-2 VISA status filing.
Alien status used for tax purposes (i.e., filing as a resident (using Form 1040) or as a nonresident (using 1040NR)) will not impact or create a ‘tax issue’ for NATO endorsement purposes for a NATO dependant when meeting tax requirements in connection with the NATO EAD application. It may, however, create an issue upon the US Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) review and adjudication of your EAD application.
Individuals are strongly encouraged to consult a certified public accountant or licensed tax professional to confirm their proper residency status and ensure they will not experience difficulties later (up to seven years from date of original tax filing).
Individuals have called the IRS in the past and have been give incorrect information, only to find that they owe taxes later. The only reliable source of information is written information from the International Tax Office of the IRS. You can send in a general inquiry to that office; each case is reviewed on its individual characteristics.
NOTE: Neither this office nor USCIS authorities are able to rely upon telephonic advice provided by IRS representatives (even when the name and employee identification number of the IRS employee is provided). IRS authorities have informed that certain categories of individuals, like NATO dependants, are in a unique status in the United States and general information that is provided by IRS representatives telephonically do not always pertain directly to their circumstances.
Questions should be directed in writing to the International Tax Office of the IRS.
If the applicant had an EAD but was not employed within any one or more tax period covered by the EAD then the applicant should include a statement certifying that he/she earned no income for that/those tax years. Please sign and date any statement by applicant and sponsor.
i.e.: My husband/wife [NAME/RANK] is posted to the USA on a NATO-2 visa. My current employment Authorization Document expires on the [DATE]. I am enclosing documentation required to renew my EAD. I certify under penalty of perjury that during the tax period (yyyy-yyyy) I have not engaged in employment or received any income(or payment in kind) associated with employment, and that I understand that I am required to pay all local, state and Federal taxes and comply with tax return filing requirements of all relevant jurisdictions.
The following are Top Tips to avoid the process being either slowed down or applications being rejected:
- I-566 and I-765 should be original documents and be typed, photocopies will be rejected. Correction fluid should NOT be used on the documents. Documents must be signed in black ink. Please check the addresses required as per the guidance above.
- Both the I-566 and the I-765 forms have expiry dates on the top right-had corner. Ensure that you have the most current form from the US Government website (Google I-566 or I-765) and also that it is sent to the British Embassy in time to be checked and submitted before the expiry date.
- Legally an offer of work cannot be accepted without being in possession of an EAD.
- If in doubt about any stage of the application process, call Embassy staff.
- Applications can’t be rushed through the system as the process involves three separate US agencies and the Embassy team has no influence over the US process.
- Applications must be submitted to the relevant US departments within 30 days of the date of the signature on the forms – ensure that they are sent promptly to the British Embassy so that they can be checked and presented within the correct timeframe.
- EADs can only be issued in the same name as the applicant’s Passport and Visa.
- Applicants must be resident in the US before submitting any application to the Embassy.
Completed applications are to be sent to the following address for endorsement:
Attn: Ms Rohey Auber
BDS (US) EAD Passports & VISA’S Application Manager
3100 Massachusetts Avenue NW
The process is likely to take 12 to 16 weeks, possibly longer, from acceptance of any EAD application by the US Authorities, before an EAD is issued.
Some states require an EAD before an application can be made for a driving licence. Check each states requirement via Google to determine if your state is one of them.
For example, Ohio Driving Licences for foreign nationals (on NATO-2) visas are tied to EAD.
The ‘Notice of Action’ Form 797 is acceptable as evidence of application of an EAD and that it’s being processed by the USCIS.
Other forms required to secure the Licence using the 797 are: I-94/Valid passport/Visa/proof of address (Utility bill, IRS letter, hunting licence)/Command verification letter signed within 30 days.
If the applicant EAD is yet to be issued by USCIS, but a Form I-797 has been issued to the embassy, then we will email a copy ahead of the EAD’s release if requested in support of a driver’s licence application. Your Colour photos must be:
- Printed on photo quality paper
- Taken within the last 3 months
- 2 inches by 2 inches (51 x 51 mm) in size
- Sized such that the head is between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches (between 25 and 35 mm) from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head. The eye height must be between 1 1/8 inches to 1 3/8 inches (28mm – 35mm) from the bottom of the photo
- Taken in front of a plain white background. It cannot be grey, light grey, blue, light blue or tan
- Taken in full-view directly facing the camera
- Taken with a neutral facial expression and both eyes open
- Taken in clothing that you normally wear on a daily basis
- Do not wear uniforms in your photo, except religious clothing that is worn daily
- Do not wear a hat or head covering that obscures the hair or hairline, unless worn daily for a religious purpose. Your full face must be visible, and the head covering must not cast any shadows on your face.