On May 3, 2023, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the extension and expansion of employment authorization under Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for eligible Hong Kong residents. Also, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced on May 4, 2023, that Hong Kong residents who were in lawful F-1 nonimmigrant student status as of January 26, 2023, may request employment authorization, work an increased number of hours while school is in session, and reduce their course loads while continuing to maintain their F-1 nonimmigrant student status. An F-1 nonimmigrant student who receives employment authorization by means of the notice will be deemed to be engaged in a ‘”full course of study’” for the duration of the employment authorization if the nonimmigrant student satisfies the minimum course load requirement described in this notice.

The DED notice explains how eligible residents of Hong Kong may apply for Employment Authorization Documents (EADs). Eligible Hong Kong residents covered under DED as of January 26, 2023, may remain in the United States through February 5, 2025, and are eligible to work in the United States.

Specifically, USCIS is automatically extending the validity of Hong Kong DED-based EADs through February 5, 2025, for those who already have an EAD with an A-11 category code on the card and an expiration date of February 5, 2023. These EADs remain valid even though the expiration date on the face of the card has passed. An individual does not need to apply for a new EAD to benefit from this automatic EAD extension. Individuals who want a new DED-based EAD showing an expiration date of February 5, 2025, must file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.

There is no application for DED. Hong Kong residents are covered under DED based on the terms described in the President’s Directive issued in January 2023. 

USCIS noted that the Department of Homeland Security may provide travel authorization at its discretion to those covered under DED for Hong Kong. Individuals who wish to travel outside of the United States based on DED must file Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, to request advance parole.

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