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Update on DED for Hong Kong as of May 3, 2023

May 16, 2023

On May 3, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the extension of the Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) program for individuals from Hong Kong until February 5, 2025. As a result, those who already have an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) will have their validity automatically extended until February 5, 2025, and new applications will also be accepted. Furthermore, as of January 26, 2023, Hong Kong residents who are currently in the US under student status are allowed to apply for an EAD and can reduce their course loads while maintaining their student status.

What’s DED (Deferred Enforcement Departure) program

Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) is a discretionary immigration policy implemented by the President of the United States. DED provides temporary relief from deportation for certain individuals who are in the United States but are at risk of being removed or deported. It allows eligible individuals to remain in the country and may also provide them with work authorization.
Unlike other immigration programs, DED is not a statutory program established by Congress. Instead, it is granted through the President’s executive authority to exercise prosecutorial discretion in immigration enforcement.
Under DED, the President can defer the enforcement of removal or deportation for a specified period of time for a particular group of individuals from a specific country or region. DED is typically granted in response to extraordinary circumstances, such as armed conflict, natural disasters, or other temporary conditions in the home country that make it unsafe or impractical for individuals to return.
The specific benefits and eligibility criteria for DED can vary depending on the designation made by the President. It is important to note that DED does not provide a path to permanent legal status or citizenship. It is a temporary protection that can be extended or terminated at the President’s discretion.