USCIS Updates Employment Authorization for Palestinians Affected by DED

New Procedures for Those Seeking EADs

In a notice posted to the Federal Register, USCIS announced an 18-month deferral of the removal of Palestinian noncitizens who are covered by Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) and who are currently present in the U.S. Along with this deferral, affected individuals are provided with instructions on applying for Employment Authorization Documents (EADs).

The memorandum instructs the Department of Homeland Security to implement measures enabling Palestinians eligible for DED to work legally in the U.S. Furthermore, it proposes temporarily easing specific rules for Palestinian students on F-1 visas.

This deferral ends on August 13, 2025.

NOTE: Palestinians who entered the U.S. after President Biden's memorandum was issued (February 14, 2024) are not eligible for DED.

Review this USCIS news release for further information about process updates for Palestinians covered by DED.

Applying for a DED-Based EAD

If you are Palestinian, covered by DED, and wish to apply for employment authorization, the first step is demonstrating your eligibility to USCIS. USCIS will review authentic identifying documentation to determine eligibility, regardless of its validity period or expiration date.

Potentially acceptable documentation includes:

  • A passport issued by the Palestinian Authority;
  • Identification card from the Palestinian Authority;
  • A verified birth certificate from a recognized governmental authority indicating birth in the Palestinian Territories;
  • ID documents from a third country, the UN, specialized UN agencies, other UN-related organizations, or the International Committee of the Red Cross indicating Palestinian nationality; and
  • Travel documents confirming Palestinian identity from a third country, the UN, specialized UN agencies, other UN-related organizations, or the International Committee of the Red Cross.

If eligible, you may apply for an employment authorization document using Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. If approved, you will receive your EAD card in the mail.

Special Student Relief Notice

Under the DED provisions, Palestinian F-1 nonimmigrant students can request employment authorization and are permitted to work more hours than usually allowed while school is in session. Additionally, throughout the DED period, eligible students can reduce their course load yet still maintain their F-1 student status. These changes offer Palestinian students on F-1 visas greater flexibility in managing their studies while allowing them to work.

Is Consultation with an Attorney Recommended?

Given the complexity of immigration laws and the specific requirements associated with acquiring employment authorization under Deferred Enforced Departure (DED), it is strongly recommended that individuals affected by these changes seek legal counsel from an experienced immigration attorney. Your lawyer can provide valuable guidance, helping you understand your rights and obligations as you complete your EAD application.

For example, our attorneys at Sebastian Simon Law Group, PLLC may assist in several ways:

  • Navigating the application process: We assist clients with preparing and filing their Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765) and with any associated issues.
  • Legal advocacy: Our team represents clients in legal proceedings, including when issues arise with a client's DED status or employment authorization.
  • Advising on compliance: We offer advice on maintaining compliance with DED and F-1 visa conditions.

If you are Palestinian seeking employment authorization and are eligible for an EAD under DED, turn to Sebastian Simon Law Group, PLLC for guidance. We can also help DED-affected Palestinians who need to travel outside the U.S. apply for travel authorization through Form I-131.