President Joe Biden recently approved a two-year extension of Deferred Enforced Departure for eligible Hong Kong residents who are currently living in the U.S.

Key Points:

  • The U.S. will defer the removal of Hong Kong residents for an addition 24 months from Feb. 5, 2023, except for individuals who:
    • Have voluntarily returned to Hong Kong or the People’s Republic of China (PRC) after Jan. 26, 2023.
    • Have not continuously lived in the U.S. since Jan. 26, 2023.
    • Are inadmissible under the Immigration and Nationality Act.
    • Have been convicted of any felony or two or more misdemeanors in the U.S.
    • Are subject to extradition.
    • Are considered a present danger to public safety or have potentially serious adverse foreign policy consequences for the U.S. if they remain in the country.
  • President Biden also authorized an expansion of DED to cover eligible Hong Kong residents who arrived in the U.S. after Aug. 5, 2021 when the initial DED designation was announced.
  • Hong Kong residents whose removal has been deferred may seek employment authorization through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Additional information: The Biden Administration said that the extension was made to offer safety and protection to Hong Kong residents amid a continued “assault on Hong Kong’s autonomy, undermining its remaining democratic processes and institutions, imposing limits on academic freedom, and cracking down on freedom of the press.” More information on DED can be found on this USCIS website.

BAL Analysis: The Department of Homeland Security is expected to issue instructions in the coming days on how eligible foreign nationals may apply for DED and employment authorization documents. BAL will continue to monitor these developments and will provide updates as they become available.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice Group. For additional information, please contact

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