DED Liberia – what can you do when your DED expires?

Information about DED for people from Liberia

High school student Gabrielle Gworlekaju, right, with her mother, DED holder Magdelene Menyongaro, at home in Minneapolis. Photograph by Jared Goyette, courtesy of the Guardian.

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:

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

If you can, the best thing to do is meet with a lawyer. You can search for a low-cost lawyer on or on the CLINIC legal directory.

If you cannot meet a lawyer in person, LegalZoom is a reputable website that will give you a one-hour free consultation with a lawyer. This means you can meet online for one hour with an immigration lawyer or legal aide. If you do this, make sure you have all of your questions ready ahead of time and someone to interpret for you if you need. After your one-hour consultation, they will try to have you sign up as a paying client. Do not sign anything unless you have money to pay for the 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 illegal 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.

Know your rights – ACLU

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.

Know Your Rights Manuals for Detained Immigrants

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.

Learn more

Information provided with the support of CWS and CLINIC. Other information on this page comes from the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal RegisterUSCIS 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.

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