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F-1 OPT EAD card lost in mail

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I realize that similar questions were posted in the forum before but I saw many different cases. Could you please help me with my case? Thank you so much!

I applied my F-1 OPT at June 21, 2012 and received the Notice of Approval (I-797) at August 4th saying that my application is approved at July 31 and the EAD card was sent. When I login the USCIS website, it said that the card was delivered by USPS at August 3rd. However, until now I didn't receive the card yet. I called USCIS and got the tracking number of the mail. But the USPS website also indicated that it was delivered. I went to the local post office twice and they said that since the mail was delivered, there is nothing they can do. Hence, I think my card is lost in mail. I called the USCIS again and the representative put my case into a service request saying that I didn't receive the card. They asked me to call back if I didn't hear anything for 15 days.

I found quite a lot of similar cases online and there are different ways for the next step. I would really appreciate if you could let me know your opinions on these:

1. Do you think whether USCIS will send me a new card with the service request? It seems very few people reported that they can get a new card.

2. If I apply for the OPT using I-765 form again, should I apply for a new permission to accept employment or Replacement (of lost EAD)? I saw different opinions on this too. Since I never received my card (but it is not returned to USCIS since the USPS people say it was delivered), does it mean that I have to apply for a new permission?

3. I got a job offer that asks me to start at August 30th. If I apply for a replacement of lost EAD, am I qualified to use the I-9 form or 90-days rules to start working with the receipt of the application? Some messages online say that this is valid but I am not sure about my case. I read the USCIS Customer Service Reference Guide - Employment Authorization and it says:

"Replacement EAD

An application for a replacement EAD is filed if a card has been lost, stolen, or mutilated, or when the previously issued card contains erroneous information, such as a misspelled name or name change. If an application for a replacement EAD is approved, the replacement EAD will have the same dates and category as the EAD that was lost, stolen, etc.

Persons applying for replacement documents can present the receipt for the I-765 as evidence of employment eligibility but must produce a valid card within 90 days of showing the receipt."

I think if I apply for a replacement card, this should be OK for me to start work with the receipt, right?

4. If I have to apply for a new EAD and have to wait until I get the new card so that I can start to work, is there anyway to expedite the application process? My employer asks me to start at August 30th. I do have a job offer letter and can ask my employer to write another letter. Also I won't have any financial support if I don't start to work at August 30th. Will these help to expedite the application process? Should I also make an appointment with InfoPass?

Any leads or information would be really appreciated! Thank you so much!

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