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Deferred Enforced Departure for Certain Hong Kong Residents

By December 6, 2021Immigration
An areal view of a busy city in Hong Kong

On August 5, 2021, President Biden issued a memorandum deferring removal of certain residents of Hong King who were present in the United States as of August 5, 2021 based on the erosion of human rights and freedoms experienced by residents of Hong King by the People’s Republic of China. The memorandum can be viewed by following the link here.

This Deferred Enforced Departure, or DED is a temporary stay of removal from the United States. You can view general information including the historic use of DED by following the link here.

DED for certain residents of Hong Kong is not available to:

  • Individuals who have voluntarily returned to Hong Kong or the People’s Republic of China after August 5, 2021;
  • Individuals who have not continuously resided in the United States since August 5, 2021;
  • Individuals who are believed to be entering the United States to engage in espionage or sabotage; any other unlawful activity or any activity with the purpose to oppose to or control or overthrow of the government of the United States by force, violence or other unlawful means.
  • Individuals who have been convicted of any felony or two or more misdemeanors committed in the United States or who meet the criteria in section 208(b)(2)(A) of the INA;
  • Individuals subject to extradition;
  • Individuals whose presence in the United States are determined to not be in the interest of the United States or presents a danger to the public safety;
  • Individuals whose presence in the United States are believed to have potentially serious adverse foreign policy consequences for the United States.

Individuals who qualify for DED do not apply for anything since DED protection is automatically conferred until expiration of the DED period set for February 5, 2023. Note that the period can be extended by the President. Although, the beneficiary of DED protection will not need to file any application to benefit from protection, the individual will be eligible for employment authorization and can apply for such authorization. An individual is eligible for employment authorization if:

  • The individual is a Hong Kong resident;
  • The individual is present in the United States as of August 5, 2021;
  • The individual has continuously resided in the United States since August 5, 2021 and
  • The individual Is otherwise eligible for DED.

Note that these are essentially the same requirements to be deemed a beneficiary of DED protection.

Documents that will help establish that an individual is an eligible Hong Kong resident:

  • HKSAR passport;
  • British National Overseas passport;
  • British Overseas Citizen passport;
  • Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card; or
  • HKSAR Document of Identity for Visa Purposes.

Individuals that can establish they are a qualifying Hong Kong resident and establish continuous residence since August 5, 2021 can proceed to apply for Employment Authorization and authorization to travel outside the United States by applying for Advanced Parole. Note that if the individual departs the United States without first receiving Advanced Parole, the individual may no longer be eligible for DED and many not be permitted to reenter the United States.

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