Feb. 16, 2021: Federal Register Notice for Liberia DED Reinstatement Published

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February 16, 2021

Feb. 16, 2021: Federal Register Notice for Liberia DED Reinstatement Published

The White House announced the reinstatement of Deferred Enforced Departure, or DED, for Liberia until June 30, 2022, through a Presidential Memorandum on Jan. 20, 2021. The related Federal Register Notice with information about the reinstatement of DED and continued work authorization for certain Liberians was published on Feb. 16, 2021. More information below:

Liberian DED eligibility:

DED applies to:

  • Any Liberian national, or person without nationality who last habitually resided in Liberia, who is present in the United States and who was under a grant of Deferred Enforced Departure, or DED, as of Jan. 10, 2021.

The DED reinstatement does not apply to:

  • Individuals who would be ineligible for TPS for the reasons provided in section 244(c)(2)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(c)(2)(B);
  • Individuals who sought or seek lawful permanent resident, or LPR, status under the Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness, or LRIF, provision but whose applications have been or are denied by the Secretary of Homeland Security;
  • Individuals whose removal the Secretary of Homeland Security determines is in the interest of the United States, subject to the LRIF provision;
  • Individuals whose presence or activities 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;
  • Individuals who have voluntarily returned to Liberia or their country of last habitual residence outside the United States for an aggregate period of 180 days or more, as specified in subsection (c)(2) of the LRIF provision;
  • Individuals who were deported, excluded, or removed prior to the date of this memorandum; or
  • Individuals who are subject to extradition.

Continuation of work authorization:

  • The Federal Register Notice automatically extends the validity of DED-related Employment Authorization Documents, or EADs, with a printed expiration date of March 30, 2020, or Jan. 10, 2021, through June 30, 2022.
  • This automatic extension applies to Liberians who: 1) Have continuously resided in the United States since Oct. 1, 2002; 2) Held TPS on Sept. 30, 2007, the termination date of a former TPS designation for Liberia; and 3) Were covered under DED for Liberians as of Jan. 10, 2021.
  • The automatic extension means that Liberian DED holders do not need to apply for new work authorization and their cards are valid until June 30, 2022. However, Liberian DED holders who wish to obtain a DED-based EAD with an expiration date of June 30, 2022, on the card can file Form I-765 and pay related fees or apply for a fee waiver.
  • Liberians who are eligible for LRIF may apply for adjustment of status under that provision on or before Dec. 20, 2021. LRIF applicants may also concurrently apply for employment authorization based on their application for adjustment.
  • CLINIC strongly advises DED holders to speak with a qualified legal services provider prior to applying for a DED-based EAD to discuss and evaluate current processing times. Note that current or potential applicants for LRIF may also seek a separate work permit with or after filing their LRIF adjustment application. These work permit options should be discussed with a qualified legal services provider.
  • More information about employment discrimination, I-9 verification, information about demonstrating the automatic extension at Departments of Motor Vehicles and more can be found in the Federal Register Notice.
  • For problems with EADs/the automatic extension at work, the Department of Motor Vehicles or other public or private institutions, DED holders can call the Department of Justice Immigrant and Employee Rights Worker Hotline at 800-255-7688 (TTY 800-237-2515) or visit justice.gov/crt/filing-charge.


Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness program and recommendations for Liberian DED holders:

  • The presidential memorandum and Federal Register Notice both state that the reinstatement is related to providing more time for Liberians to apply for Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness, or LRIF, a program allowing eligible Liberians to apply for green cards.
  • This program is currently open through Dec. 20, 2021.

CLINIC recommends:

  1. DED holders should immediately consult a qualified legal services provider about their eligibility to adjust to permanent resident status under LRIF. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, DED holders should call legal services providers for more information about how to get legal help. Many offices and walk-in services are closed for in-person services. A list of qualified legal services providers can be found here.
  2. As always when seeking legal services, people should beware of fraud. Learn more about avoiding scams here.