Form I-765 is used to apply for temporary work authorization. There are many different categories of eligibility for employment authorization. Generally, temporary work authorization is based on an underlying pending or approved application. For example, a foreign national that applies for a green card through the Adjustment of Status process can apply at the same time for temporary work authorization. If the work application is approved then USCIS will issue what is called an Employment Authorization Document,” or “EAD.”
EADs are valid for varying time periods, depending upon the category that you are applying under. For example, green card applicants are granted EADs that are valid for up to one year. Foreign nationals that apply for EADs through the program known as “Deferred Action for Early Childhood Arrivals (DACA)” receive a work permit valid for up to 2 years. There are other categories as well. EADs can sometimes be renewed for additional time periods, depending upon your category.
If you have been granted an EAD then you can apply for a Social Security Number. A person with an EAD may legally work in the United States.