USCIS Implements Procedures for Certain HK Residents Applying for Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) and U.S. Employment Authorization

by Carolyn Lee

Oct 21, 2021

On August 5, 2021, President Biden issued a memorandum directing the Department of Homeland Security to defer for 18 months, through February 5, 2023, the removal of certain Hong Kong residents in the United States pursuant to Deferred Enforced Departure (DED). On October 21, 2021, USCIS announced that eligible Hong Kong residents may now apply for employment and travel authorization documents. The following is a Q&A that discusses questions you may have about DED and its related benefits.

Q: I am a Hong Kong resident. How do I get qualified for DED?

A: There is no application to apply for DED. Anyone who meets the requirements automatically has DED until it lapses or is terminated.

Q: What are the requirements to be eligible for Hong Kong DED?

A: Eligibility requirements for Hong Kong DED include the following:

  • The applicant has continuously resided in the United States since August 5, 2021; and
  • The applicant has not voluntarily returned to Hong Kong or the People’s Republic of China (PRC) after August 5, 2021.

Q: Are DED holders allowed to work in the United States or travel abroad?

A: Yes, DED holders can obtain employment and travel authorizations by submitting a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization and a Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, to USCIS.

If you believe you may be eligible for Hong Kong DED and would like our assistance in obtaining DED-related benefits, please contact our office for more information.  Our e-mail is

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