The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently posted a Federal Register notice extending and expanding Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) eligibility. According to the statement, the extension and expansion will significantly affect residents of Hong Kong. This notice also extends Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) through the extended timeframe. In addition, it explains how these residents may request the EADs.
This notice stems from a memorandum issued by the President on January 26, 2023, which extended DED for certain residents of Hong Kong for an additional 24 months. As a result, eligible residents covered under this DED may remain in the U.S. through February 5, 2023, and apply for EADs to work during this period. The DED will automatically cover eligible Hong Kong residents.
Residents who want to work must apply for an EAD. To do so, they must file an Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765) with the USCIS. This notice also extends current Hong Kong DED-related EADs with a “Card Expires” date of February 5, 2023, and a Category of A-11. The A-11 shows the relation of the EAD to the DED. In addition, parties with an EAD under another immigration status may obtain a DED-based EAD by filing a Form I-765 with the associated fee or fee waiver request.
EADs showing a “Card Expires” date of February 5, 2023, will remain valid through February 5, 2025, despite the displayed expiration. Holders of these cards need not apply for a new EAD to benefit from this extension. However, employers must accept these documents as proof of identity and work authorization for completing Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9).
However, those who prefer an EAD with the February 5, 2025 expiration date may file a new Form I-765 with the associated fee or waiver request. Residents covered under DED for Hong Kong may also apply for Advance Parole to acquire authorization to travel outside the U.S. by filing an Application for Travel Document (Form I-131).
Regulations regarding work authorization and Form I-9s are continuously changing, making it challenging for employers to keep up. As such, the best way to help ensure continued compliance is by incorporating an electronic I-9 management tool into the onboarding process. This tool can guide employers through completing the process and ensure uniform completion of each I-9 form.
When it comes to your employees, automation makes eligibility verification quick and simple. Ensure compliance today with I-9 Compliance.