A blog about U.S. immigration matters by Paul Szeto, a former INS attorney and an experienced immigration lawyer. We serve clients in all U.S. states and overseas countries. (All information is not legal advice and is subject to change without prior notice.)

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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Hong Kongers May Apply for EAD under DED Program

Hong Kong residents are authorized to stay in the United States for 18 months based under the Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) program, according to a memorandum issued by President Biden on August 5, 2021.  Qualified Hong Kong residents may now apply for Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and Travel Document (Advance Parole) for U.S. employment and international travel.

Who are eligible for EAD and Travel Document?

Hong Kong residents who are eligible for President Biden's DED program may apply for EAD and advance parole now.  Hong Kong residents, regardless of their country of birth, who are present in the United States on August 5, 2021, are eligible for DED except for individuals:

  • Who have voluntarily returned to Hong Kong or the People’s Republic of China (PRC) after August 5, 2021;
  • who have not continuously resided in the United States since August 5, 2021; 
  • who are inadmissible or deportable for security and related reasons; 
  • who have been convicted of any felony or two or more misdemeanors committed in the United States, or who would not be eligible for asylum (e.g., persecutors, security risks, etc.)
  • who are subject to extradition;
  • whose presence in the United States is not in the interest of the United States or presents a danger to public safety; or
  • whose presence in the United States the Secretary of State has reasonable grounds to believe would have potentially serious adverse foreign policy consequences for the United States. 

How to Apply for EAD?

Qualified Hong Kong applicants must submit the Form I-765 (https://www.uscis.gov/i-765) to apply for employment authorization document by mail to:  USCIS, Attn: DED Hong Kong, P.O. Box 805283, Chicago, IL 60680-5283. Applicants should check the DED category by entering "(a)(11)" in the eligibility box.  Applicants must also pay the required fee and provide supporting documents such as copies of their passports and I-94s. 

How to Apply for Travel Document?

To apply for advance parole travel document, one must file the Form I-131 (https://www.uscis.gov/i-131) by mail to the same address, pay the required fee and provide the required supporting documents.  It is important to note that applicants will lose DED status if they depart the United States without an approved advance parole. Further, applicants will lose DED status if they travel to Hong Kong or PRC.  

Hong long will the EAD and advance parole be effective?

USCIS will issue EAD and advance parole for 18 months until February 5, 2023, the expiration date of the Hong Kong DED program. Extensions are possible in the future.  Applicants should pay attention to any updates.

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