Deferred Enforced Departure Guidelines for Hong Kong Residents


The U.S. Department of State (DHS) has released the guidelines under which Hong Kong residents can apply for employment authorization in the U.S. under Deferred Enforced Departure (DED).(Applicants must have been present in the U.S. since August 5, 2021). Hong Kong residents can apply for employment authorization through February 5, 2023.


Eligible Hong Kong residents may also apply for advance parole if they wish to temporarily leave the U.S.


What is DED?


Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) is an administrative stay of removal ordered by the President of the United States. Individuals covered by a DED determination are not subject to removal from the U.S. for a specified period.


DED can be authorized in situations where a group of foreign nationals could face danger upon returning to their home country. Examples of such situations include when the foreign nation is experiencing political instability, conflict, or other unsafe conditions, or when there are other foreign policy reasons for allowing a designated group of foreign nationals to remain in the U.S.


During their authorized stay in the U.S., DED beneficiaries are often eligible to apply for employment and travel authorization.


Eligibility for Employment Authorization under DED for Hong Kong Residents


Hong Kong residents (regardless of their country of birth), who have been continuously present in the United States since August 5, 2021, may apply for employment authorization with USCIS. However, the following categories of foreign nationals are ineligible to apply:

  • Those who have voluntarily returned to Hong Kong or the People’s Republic of China (PRC) after August 5, 2021;

  • Those who have not continuously resided in the United States since August 5, 2021;

  • Those who are inadmissible under INA 212(a)(3) or deportable under INA 237(a)(4);

  • Those who have been convicted of any felony or two or more misdemeanors committed in the United States, or who meet the criteria set forth in section INA 208(b)(2)(A).;

  • Those who are subject to extradition;

  • Those whose presence in the United States is not in the interest of the United States or presents a danger to public safety, as determined by the Secretary of State; or

  • Those whose presence in the United States would have potentially serious adverse foreign policy consequences for the United States, and the Secretary of State has reasonable grounds to believe the same.

See: [CIS No. 2701-21; DHS Docket No. USCIS-2021-0020] RIN 1615-ZB90 Implementation of Employment Authorization for Individuals Covered by Deferred Enforced Departure for Hong Kong


If you would like to discuss DED or any other immigration matter, please contact us here.


We assist countless foreign nationals and we will be happy to personally assist you with your application as well. Send us an E-mail or call us at (888)354-6257. For reasons on why you should consult an immigration attorney whenever you have an immigration issue, see our page titled: Reasons Why it is Vital to Use an Immigration Lawyer.


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