What can you do if your DED expires? Here is information about DED and the 2019 change of status for people from Liberia.
Update April 10, 2020
The government has extended the amount of time for DED Liberia to end. You can read the official announcement published on April 7. The transitional period has been extended to January 10, 2021. This means that if you are a Liberian DED holder, you can continue to work and live in the USA until that date. II you want to apply to become a permanent resident, you should apply as soon as possible.
Update December 28, 2019
The US government says it is “accepting applications to adjust status to lawful permanent resident from certain Liberian nationals.” This means that if you qualify, you can apply for a green card.
In order to be eligible for a green card, you must meet the following requirements:
- You must apply for a green card using Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status by Dec. 20, 2020;
- You are a national of Liberia;
- You have been continuously physically present in the United States during the period beginning on November 20, 2014, and ending on the date you file your application
- You are otherwise eligible for an immigrant visa; and
- You are admissible to the United States for lawful permanent residence or eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility or other form of relief.
Update December 17, 2019
A new bill passed in the US Senate this week. When it has been signed by the president, it will give people with DED Liberia access to permanent residency and a path to citizenship. We will update this page as soon as we have information about how to apply for residency.
DED Liberia – when does my DED expire?
DED Liberia – the US government has announced that Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for people from Liberia has been extended until March 30, 2020. To find out more, you can:
- Read the memorandum
- Read the Federal Register Notice about work authorization
- Read an explanation and advice about the notice from CLINIC
If you are a DED holder from Liberia, your protection will end on this date.
What happens next?
You will need to change your status or leave the United States by March 30, 2020. If you do nothing, you will risk arrest and deportation.
Can I still work?
You are eligible for employment authorization during the transitional period if you:
- have continuously resided in the United States since Oct. 1, 2002, and
- are a current beneficiary under DED for Liberia.
Do I need a new EAD?
EADs with an expiration date of March 31, 2019 are automatically extended for 180 days until Sept. 27, 2019. USCIS is accepting applications for work authorization through March 30, 2020. If you are still eligible for work authorization but your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) has expired or is due to expire, you should file for a renewal.
You may request work authorization by filing a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. You can find more details on the USCIS DED information page.
What about my employer?
You may show your expired EAD and a copy of the Federal Register notice to employers or government officials. Employers may rely on the Federal Register notice as evidence that your EAD is still valid.
If your employers have questions about the automatic EAD extension, they may contact:
- USCIS Form I-9 Support: 888-464-4218 or
- U.S. Department of Justice, Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) Employer Hotline: 800-255-8155
If you have questions or concerns yourself about the EAD extension, call the Office of Special Council Employee Hotline at 800-255-7688.
What if I want to travel?
If you want to travel outside the United States and return before the expiration date, you must file for advance parole. 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.
What happens when DED Liberia expires?
When your DED expires, your legal status will go back to what it was before. You can apply to change your status or you can leave the USA.
What can I do?
You can meet with a lawyer
What if I can’t meet with a lawyer? What if I can’t afford a lawyer?
We know many individuals cannot meet with a lawyer. Here is more information to help you understand your options. This is not legal advice but instead information to help you consider your choices.
Find help online
Immi helps immigrants understand their legal options. You can use their online screening tool to guide you to your best options. Take the immi interview to see if you qualify for a different immigration status. Immi’s legal information and referral advice are always free.
You can try to change your status
The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) says:
“This 12-month transitional period of DED allows affected individuals to arrange for their departure from the United States, or seek an alternative lawful immigration status in the United States, if eligible, before DED ends on March 31, 2019.”
Applying for non-immigrant status
You must be eligible to apply. You may apply for a green card if you entered lawfully and meet other requirements. These may be because of your family or your job. Find out if you are eligible and how to apply for citizenship.
Applying for other protected status
Some DED holders may be able to stay in the United States under special visas. There are visas for victims of human trafficking, battered spouses, children or parents and victims of other crimes.
If you are a woman and think you might qualify for a special visa because of violence, abuse or another reason, you can contact the Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project.
What will happen if I stay in the country without documents? (What if I become an undocumented immigrant?)
If you stay in the country without documents, you risk being deported or arrested. Here are some pages with more information to help you understand your rights and what to do if you are detained.
Do you know your rights? These easy-to-use resources about different situations were created by the ACLU so you can have your rights at your fingertips.
Arabic, English, Spanish, Somali, Urdu, Mandarin, French, Hindi, and Punjabi languages. Manuals for LGBTQ immigrants, adults, and unaccompanied children.
How to contact the Embassy of Liberia in the United States
You can find your country’s US embassy website here. The embassy will post updates about DED on its home page.
The address of the embassy is 5201 16th Street N.W., Washington DC 20011.
The phone number is: (202) 723-0437.
Information provided with the support of CWS and CLINIC. Other information on this page comes from the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Register, USCISand other trusted sources. It is intended for guidance and is updated as often as possible. USAHello does not give legal advice, nor are any of our materials intended to be taken as legal advice. If you are looking for a free or low-cost lawyer or legal help, we can help you find free and low-cost legal services.