USCIS Extends Employment Authorization for Hong Kong F-1 Nonimmigrant Students Experiencing Severe Economic Hardship as a Result of the Crisis in Hong Kong
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on May 3, 2023, the Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for F-1 students who are Hong Kong residents, regardless of country of birth, has been extended, and those covered are eligible to work and may remain in the United States through February 5, 2025.
President Biden issued a memorandum on January 26, 2023, extending DED eligibility for certain Hong Kong residents for 24 months. USCIS will allow Hong Kong residents who were in lawful F-1 nonimmigrant student status as of January 26, 2023, to request employment authorization, work an increased number of hours while school is in session, and reduce their course load while continuing to maintain their F-1 nonimmigrant student status.
USCIS is allowing increased work hours due to the severe economic hardship in Hong Kong and the resulting impact on F-1 students whose primary means of financial support comes from Hong Kong.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will consider an F-1 nonimmigrant student who receives employment authorization by means of this notice to be engaged in a “full course of study” for the duration of the employment authorization if the nonimmigrant student satisfies the minimum course load requirement under this notice.
Undergraduate F-1 nonimmigrant students who receive on-campus or off-campus employment authorization under this notice must remain registered for a minimum of six semester or quarter hours of instruction per academic term or at least one half of the credit hours normally required under a “full course of study,” if enrolled in a term of different duration. Graduate-level F-1 nonimmigrant students who receive on-campus or off-campus employment authorization under this notice must remain registered for a minimum of three semester or quarter hours of instruction per academic term.
Eligible Hong Kong residents may apply for employment authorization, but a new EAD is not required. EADs issued prior remain valid even though the expiration date on the face of the card has passed. Those looking to travel outside of the United States based on DED must apply for advance parole.
Foster will continue to monitor USCIS programs, regulations, and guidance and will make future updates available via the Foster website at www.fosterglobal.com.