Options if OPT EAD Card is Lost or USPS Could Not Deliver?


USPS lost my OPT EAD card and I applied for a replacement EAD card. It’s been 70 days but my case is still in process. What should I do if I don’t receive my EAD before my 90 day unemployment period?

USPS couldn’t deliver it to my address because of some address issues. So, I requested again twice and USCIS doesn’t send the EAD card back. My Unemployment period id finishing in 30 days and my case has been approved. What should I do? Should I leave the country or just wait to get the card? Do they send my card back if it was returned back to USCIS?

I applied for a replacement card and it’s been 70 days but my case is still in process. My 90-day unemployment ends on Oct 5th. I am scared and confused. I have my offer letter with me but I don’t know can I update the status if I receive the card after the 90 days unemployment.


In situations like these, when your Legal Status in the USA could be impacted, please don’t keep asking others for what they did. Talk to an Attorney.

Just because there could others in your situation doesn’t mean, you can wait around!

In the end, you are going to go out of status. And risking your future. So, take ownership and act for yourself. Don’t sit around for things to happen!

Possible Solutions for Lost OPT EAD Card in Mail

  1. Request Employer if you can start working using the Approval Receipt Notice (& USCIS have indicated you can start working)
  2. Contact your Congressman or Woman for your District and ask them to contact USCIS.
  3. Start Volunteering and Report the VOlunteer Work in your SEVIS Record/DSO.

1. Start Working with EAD Approval Notice

Here’s the exchange between AILA and USCIS (Refer to the Page 3 in the Attached Document)

opt ead card lost start working with approval receipt notice


2. Contact Your Representative

lost ead card contact  representative

You may not be aware of this option nor how to find and contact your representative. But, it works and your Congressman or Congresswoman can contact USCIS on your behalf.

  1. Find your Representative in Congress using your Zip Code (you can talk to Senator or House Member)
  2. Call their office or Send an Email
  3. Immigration Liasion from their office will reach out to you
  4. Explain your situation and they will ask to sign an Authorization Form
  5. Complete, Sign and Send it Back.
  6. They would reach out on your behalf to USCIS with your request.

3. Start Volunteering on OPT Period

You would have to find a work in your field of study. You could perhaps request your Professor and see if there’s an option to volunteer in their lab or research work.  It’s probably the easiest option. And you would also gain additional experience. Along the similar lines, you can work in your department as well.

Finding Volunteer work with an employer is always challenging. But, don’t rule that option out. Look for internships and volunteer options with companies. Don’t just look for companies near your place. Cast a wide net and you never know what gets caught.

Keep in mind that your unemployment clock begins on the start date that is given to you by USCIS, not the date you originally requested. If there is a backlog and USCIS does not adjudicate your case by the start date you requested, in many cases they will adjust as best as possible to award a start date that is in line with the date of adjudication. There are several variables that affect this, but generally, this is how it works.

Luck is defined as a meeting point of a passing opportunity and your preparation.

Please, don’t sit around and wait for things to happen to you. Take Extreme Ownership. Find ways to make it work.

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