This page provides information about the Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) program for people from Hong Kong.
Here you will find the most recent announcement from the Biden Administration, if you need to register, how to get a work permit, who is not eligible for DED, information on how to avoid scams, and where to get legal help.
On August 5, 2021, the Biden Administration announced an 18-month Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for certain Hong Kong residents. Any Hong Kong resident who is present in the USA as of August 5, 2021, cannot be removed for the next 18 months.
The DED period is from August 5, 2021, to February 5, 2023.
Do I need to register for DED?
No, there is no registration for DED. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) applies the DED.
Can I get a work permit?
Yes, you can apply for a work permit or Employment Authorization Documentation (EAD) if:
- You are a Hong Kong resident who meets the eligibility requirements.
- You have been in the United States since August 5, 2021.
- You have continuously lived in the US since August 5, 2021.
Learn about the documents required to be considered a Hong Kong resident on the USCIS page.
To apply for EAD, you’ll need to file Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization, pay the fee. USCIS will notify you if you need to present biometrics.
Who is not eligible for DED Hong Kong?
The DED is for any Hong Kong resident who is present in the USA as of August 5, 2021, except for those:
- who have voluntarily returned to Hong Kong or the PRC after August 5, 2021;
- who have not continuously resided in the USA since August 5, 2021;
- who are inadmissible under section 212(a)(3) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(3)) or deportable under section 237(a)(4) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(4));
- who have been convicted of any felony or two or more misdemeanors committed in the USA, or who meet any of the criteria set forth in section 208(b)(2)(A) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1158(b)(2)(A));
- who are subject to extradition;
- whose presence in the USA has been determined is not in the interest of the USA or presents a danger to public safety; or,
- whose presence in the USA may have potentially serious adverse foreign policy consequences for the USA.
Be aware of scams
Remember, there is no registration for DED for Hong Kong residents. Do not believe people who may want to charge you to register for DED.
USCIS documents are free. Do not pay to obtain any of the USCIS forms. You can download them from the USCIS website.
Be aware of people who ask for payment to get USCIS forms and claim they can file your EAD application. Remember, guidelines on how to apply for the EAD are still pending. Check back with us for updates.
To learn more about how to avoid scams, you can click here.
Where to get legal help
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. In immigration law, there is also staff at non-profits who receive training in immigration law. They go through a process with the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) to become accredited representatives. These representatives must work for a non-profit organization and most have low-cost or no-cost services.
You can search for an accredited representative near you on the Department of Justice website.
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 different immigration status. Immi’s legal information and referral advice are always free.
Information on this page comes from CLINIC, the White House, the Department of Homeland Security, and 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.