News & Alerts

Implementation of Employment Authorization for Individuals Covered by Deferred Enforced Departure for Hong Kong 

by Carolyn Lee

May 8, 2023


On January 26, 2023, President Joseph Biden issued a memorandum to the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) determining that it was in the foreign policy interest of the United States to extend and expand the deferral of removal of certain Hong Kong residents present in the United States through February 5, 2025, and to provide them with employment authorization documentation.  

A rule was published today, May 4, 2023 and a summary and instructions were posted on the USCIS website. USCIS announced that it is automatically extending through Feb. 5, 2025, current Hong Kong Deferred Enforced Departure (DED)-related Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) with a “Card Expires” date of Feb. 5, 2023, and a Category of A-11.  

The A-11 category code indicates that an EAD is DED-related. Eligible Hong Kong residents in the United States may present this EAD as evidence of identity and employment authorization for your Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. 

The USCIS website includes a helpful summary chart: 

image

Background 

On Aug. 5, 2021, President Biden issued a memorandum to defer for 18 months the removal of certain residents of Hong Kong who were present in the United States as of Aug. 5, 2021, 

On Jan. 26, 2023, President Biden issued a memorandum to defer for 24 months the removal of certain residents of Hong Kong who were present in the United States as of Jan. 26, 2023, as well as those who were covered under the initial period of DED, except for certain excluded classes, such as inadmissible individuals and those who have voluntarily returned to Hong Kong or the People’s Republic of China (PRC) after Jan. 26, 2023.  

The current announcement provides further deferral for Hong Kong residents meeting the requirements below. 

Eligibility Requirements for Employment Authorization 

You are eligible for employment authorization under the DED period if you: 

  • Are a Hong Kong resident as described in the Federal Register notice cited above; 
  • Were present in the United States as of Jan. 26, 2023; 
  • Have continuously resided in the United States since Jan. 26, 2023; and 
  • Are otherwise eligible for DED. 

Although the EAD is automatically extended, the USCIS website includes instructions for applying for an EAD with the extended validity period by filing Form I-765, as well as instructions for applying for an Advance Parole travel authorization.  

The USCIS instructions are here

The Federal Register rule is here

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