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18-month Deferred Enforced Departure Announced for Certain Palestinians

Posted by Hugo R. Valverde, Managing Attorney, and Anna D. Colby, Attorney Social Media Marketing Manager | Mar 11, 2024 | 0 Comments

Photo by shotinraww on Unsplash

There's been a lot of unrest in the world lately. 

It's hard to fathom it all, but the Biden Administration is trying to prevent the situation from getting worse for those facing unrest in their home country. 

Amid the conflict going on in Israel and Palestine, the White House has announced deferred enforced departure (DED) for certain Palestinians worried about being removed from the United States. The deferral is set for 18 months. 

What is Deferred Enforced Departure?

Deferred enforced departure is a relief from removal. Essentially it means that even if a person from the designated country is not in status anymore, the U.S. will not force them to leave the United States. 

Who is Eligible for Deferred Enforced Departure?

Deferred Enforced Departure will cover the majority of Palestinians in the United States needing it. However, some people are disqualified from this type of relief if they:

  • Have not resided continuously in the U.S. since February 14, 2024;

  • Have committed a felony or two or more misdemeanors; 

  • Are considered a danger to public safety by the Secretary of Homeland Security; 

  • Are subject to extradition;

  • Are subject to terrorism prohibitions;

Please see President Biden's announcement for a complete list of disqualifications for DED.

Will I Be Able to Work?

President Biden's announcement ensures that Palestinians being protected from removal through deferred enforced departure will be authorized to work. The official Federal Register notice from USCIS has not been released yet, but typically when DED is announced as a benefit to that country, recipients are able to work during that designated time frame.

Currently individuals from the nations of Liberia and Hong Kong are also covered under deferred enforced departure, and have had their employment authorization documents automatically extended through their DED time period. 

Students on nonimmigrant F-1 visas usually have very strict limitations on their ability to work, but the Biden Administration has directed the Secretary of Homeland Security “to consider suspending regulatory requirements with respect to F-1 nonimmigrant students who are Palestinians.” That doesn't mean current Palestinian F-1 holders have unrestricted employment authorization as of yet though - they still need to wait for a clear directive from the Department of Homeland Security.

Does Deferred Enforced Departure Lead to Permanent Residence?

No. Deferred Enforced Departure is a temporary status set for a specific period of time, and unless someone is eligible through another status (such as employment or family based adjustment), does not enable a recipient to apply for a green card because of it. The current time period for Palestinian Deferred Enforced Departure is 18 months.


If you are interested in filing an immigration petition, please reach out to us at (757) 422-8472, or send us a message on our website. You can also schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys by clicking on this link.

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