USCIS Announces Deferred Enforced Departure Extended for Liberians

Liberians who are currently in the United States and working as well as living in the country may qualify for a new extension of employment authorization. President Obama has recently announced that Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) will be extended through the end of March 2013 for some qualified nationals of Liberia and for some individuals who last lived in Liberia but who have no recognized nationality. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has recently announced that it will extend employment authorizations for some Liberians. Liberians who have employment authorization and are covered under Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) can have their employment authorization extended through the end of March 2012.

Currently an Employment Authorization Document (EADs) can be automatically extended for six months. During this time, qualified Liberians can apply for the extended employment authorization. Originally, DED was supposed to end for Liberians at the end of September 2011. However, unrest in the homes of many Liberians in the United States as well as foreign policy have meant that the USCIS and the Obama administration have decided to extend DED for some Liberians.

Liberian nationals are not eligible for extended employment authorization under the new rules if:

1) They are not covered by current DED. This may be the case id they did not have Temporary Protected Status (TPS) before September 2007.

2) They have certain criminal records, such as a felony conviction or two misdemeanor convictions.

3) They are subject to bars to Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

President Obama also outlined some additional eligibility requirements for Liberian nationals wanting to extend employment authorization in the US.

The USCIS will publish additional instructions in the Federal Register, informing Liberian nationals how to extend employment authorization through part of 2013. As well, the USCIS has a DED-Liberia Web page on their site, with more information for Liberian nationals about the process. This is a good resource for any Liberians wishing to take advantage of the extension of employment authorization to remain in the United States. Employers and Liberian nationals can also get more information about the extension by calling the USCIS National Customer Service Centerá(1-800-375-5283).

In general, Liberians eligible for the extension will need to file Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization) and will need to include a $380 filing fee. Eligible Liberian nationals who cannot pay the fee must submit a fee waiver request instead of the fee with their application.