My sister is about to return from New Zealand to the USA. She mistakenly took her expired EAD card (document related to work permit) instead of the renewed one. Is there any possible way I can hand over the card to her before she passes through immigration? EAD is mandatory for her to re-enter the USA.

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    If it's mandatory for her to re-enter USA then it's quite likely she won't even be allowed to board at the origin airport. But an EAD does not seem to be a document that allows entry into the US (don't see any mention of it or I-765 on Timatic or Traveldoc, though I may not have the right parameters). What is her citizenship and actual status?
    – jcaron
    Commented Jan 12 at 12:39
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    Given that she does have a valid EAD it is possible that CBP can validate that fact at the border.
    – Peter M
    Commented Jan 12 at 13:26
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    "EAD is mandatory for her to re-enter the USA." EAD is only for work authorization and has nothing to do with entry. Do you mean that the EAD is a "combo card", i.e. it also serves as an Advance Parole?
    – user102008
    Commented Jan 12 at 16:11
  • Sorry for not mentioning her visa status, so she’s completed her studies in US and is on stem OPT so the EAD is related to her Stem OPT. Also one of my friend suggested that she can go to Canada as she has a Canadian tourist visa and I’ll courier her the EAD card. Commented Jan 12 at 17:56
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    To be honest, I think there is a 99% chance that if she just showed CBP a photocopy of her current EAD and said she mistakenly left it in the US, then they would let her in. But they would probably send her to secondary inspection first.
    – Brian
    Commented Jan 13 at 2:07

1 Answer 1


Highly unlikely.

If the document is required for her to legally enter the US, then she will be denied boarding at the place of check-in and she won't make it to the US in the first place. If she doesn't need the document, you can give it to her once she is through.

If by some magic she manages to actually get on the plane, you would have to contact the airline. You cannot get into the pre-immigration area yourself, but the airline can. They may be willing to assist specifically since they can get fined heavily when presenting passengers that do not have proper documentation to enter the US.

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    So as far as I know, her EAD is related to her stem opt. Also she can go to Canada as she has her Canadian tourist visa also we have our relatives there as well and I will deliver her the EAD there. I hope this would work. Also I really appreciate your response. Commented Jan 12 at 18:00

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