USCIS Extends and Expands Employment Authorization for Hong Kong Residents under Deferred Enforced Departure (DED)

In a recent Federal Register notice, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced the extension and broadening of eligibility for Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for Hong Kong residents, accompanied by details on the application process for Employment Authorization Documents (EADs).

President Biden's memorandum issued on January 26, 2023, extends and expands DED for specific Hong Kong residents by an additional 24 months. Eligible Hong Kong residents covered under DED as of January 26, 2023, now have the opportunity to stay in the United States until February 5, 2025, and are granted permission to work within the country.

Notably, there is no separate application process for DED; eligibility is determined based on the conditions outlined in the president's directive. However, eligible Hong Kong residents seeking employment authorization may apply for an EAD by submitting Form I-765, the Application for Employment Authorization.

The memorandum also instructs the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to prolong employment authorization for Hong Kong residents under DED and ensure the timely issuance of new or replacement documents when necessary. USCIS is automatically extending the validity of Hong Kong DED-based EADs through February 5, 2025, for individuals possessing an EAD with an A-11 category code and an expiration date of February 5, 2023. Despite the passed expiration date on the card, these EADs remain valid, and there is no need to apply for a new one for the duration of this automatic extension. However, individuals desiring a new DED-based EAD indicating a Card Expires date of February 5, 2025, must file Form I-765.

Additionally, DHS retains the discretion to grant travel authorization to those covered under DED for Hong Kong. Individuals seeking international travel based on DED must file Form I-131, the Application for Travel Document, to request advance parole.
This comprehensive extension and expansion aim to provide stability and continued opportunities for Hong Kong residents affected by the evolving situation.

For further details and application instructions, please refer to the official USCIS documentation.

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