Breaking: President Biden has designated Hong Kong for Deferred Enforced Departure (DED).
As of August 5, 2021, the President has directed the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to defer for at least 18 months in the removal of any Hong Kong residents present in the United States.
The President stated that this step is necessary, citing the “significant erosion” of “human rights and fundamental freedoms of the residents of Hong Kong” by the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
The DHS is also directed to take steps to provide employment authorization to eligible DED beneficiaries as well as to relax employment rules for F-1 students from Hong Kong. Persons granted DED may not travel abroad without obtaining an advance parole travel authorization that is discretionary.
“This is a positive step for those nationals from Hong Kong who do not have valid visas or a path forward, but I am reluctant to recommend DED in any other than as a last resort because DED is not status and unless we later have remedial legislation providing a path towards a green card, this could be a dead-end for many,” said WR Immigration Managing Partner Bernard Wolfsdorf.
To clarify, DED is not a specific immigration status but is a discretionary grant of protection from the President. Historically it is used in limited instances and is currently available to residents of Liberia and Venezuela.
Upcoming: A notice from the Federal Register will outline the requirements and related benefits of this program. Stay tuned to WR Immigration for the latest.
Details: Memorandum on the Deferred Enforced Departure for Certain Hong Kong Residents https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/08/05/memorandum-on-the-deferred-enforced-departure-for-certain-hong-kong-residents/