Deferred Enforced Departure

Alert: On Aug. 5, 2021, President Biden issued a memorandum to the secretary of homeland security authorizing Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) and employment authorization for 18 months for eligible Hong Kong residents. The Department of Homeland Security published a Federal Register notice on October 21, 2021 implementing the president’s memorandum.

DED is in the president’s discretion to authorize as part of his constitutional power to conduct foreign relations. Although DED is not a specific immigration status, individuals covered by DED are not subject to removal from the United States for a designated period of time.

Individuals Currently Covered Under DED

DED Directive Effective Date of DED DED Extended Through EAD Automatically Extended Through
Liberia Oct. 1, 2007 (by President George W. Bush’s order of Sept. 12, 2007) June 30, 2022 June 30, 2022
Hong Kong Aug. 5, 2021, through Feb. 5, 2023 (by President Joe Biden’s order of Aug. 5, 2021) N/A N/A
Venezuela Jan. 20, 2021, through July 20, 2022 (by President Donald J. Trump’s order of Jan. 19, 2021) N/A N/A

DED Eligibility

Eligibility requirements for Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) are based on the terms the president specifies in each DED directive. Each presidential directive includes the criteria for an individual to be covered by DED and certain exceptions for individuals who are not covered.

Working in the United States

If DHS provides work authorization as a benefit of DED for your country, then you may request an employment authorization document by filing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.

Automatic Employment Authorization Document (EAD) Extension

Sometimes DHS must issue a blanket automatic extension of the expiring EADs for DED beneficiaries of a specific country to allow time to issue EADs with new validity dates. USCIS will usually publish a notice in the Federal Register announcing automatic extensions. The notice will tell you if your EAD has been automatically extended and until what date.

Unless you are found to no longer be eligible for DED, you may show your DED-related EAD that has expired and a copy of the Federal Register notice to employers and government agencies (federal, state, and local). Employers are advised that they may rely on the Federal Register notice as evidence of the continuing validity of your EAD.

If you are an employer or government agency with questions or concerns about the automatic EAD extension, you may contact:

  • USCIS Form I-9 Support: 888-464-4218
  • U.S. Department of Justice, Immigrant, and Employee Rights Section (IER) Employer Hotline: 800-255-8155

If you are an employee with questions or concerns about the automatic EAD extension, you may contact the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Immigrant and Employee Rights Section Worker Hotline at 800-255-7688.

Travel Outside the United States

If DHS provides travel authorization as a benefit of DED for your country, you must file for advance parole if you wish to travel. Advance parole gives you permission to leave the United States and return during a specified period. To request advance parole, you must file Form I-131, Application for Travel Document.

If you leave the United States without first receiving advance parole, you may no longer be eligible for DED and may not be permitted to reenter the United States.

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