Deferred Enforced Departure and Employment Authorization for Hong Kong Residents

In August 2021, the Biden administration authorized deferred enforced departure (DED) for 18 months for eligible Hong Kong residents. The Administration has now published details on the implementation of employment authorization for individuals covered by the DED executive order.

Effective 05.Aug.2021, eligible Hong Kong residents covered by DED are not subject to removal from the United States and may apply for employment authorization. The DED is scheduled to remain in place through 05.Feb.2023.

Deferred Enforced Departure (DED)

DED is an administrative stay of removal ordered by the President in case of potential danger or political instability, conflict, or other unsafe conditions, to allow a designated group of noncitizens to temporarily remain in the United States. Individuals covered by DED are not subject to removal for a designated period, and may apply for certain benefits, such as employment and travel authorization. Since DED is a directive not to remove (i.e., deport) certain individuals, rather than a specific immigration status, there is no DED application form required to obtain the DED benefit. However, eligible Hong Kong residents covered under DED must file an application for employment authorization (form I-765) to obtain an initial DED-related employment authorization document (EAD).

General Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for DED and employment authorization under this category, an individual must be a Hong Kong resident who was present in the U.S. as of 05.Aug.2021. Individuals who have been convicted of any felony or two or more misdemeanors committed in the U.S., or whose presence in the U.S. is not in the interest of the U.S., and those who present a danger to public safety are not eligible for DED.


The U.S. supports human rights and fundamental freedoms for residents of Hong Kong. The DED designation provides temporary relief for Hong Kong residents to remain in the U.S. and work during the ongoing political crisis in their home country.


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Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.