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This article was prepared with the assistance of ABIL, the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers, of which Loan Huynh is an active member.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued a significant update for Palestinians in the United States, as detailed in a recent Federal Register notice. Effective immediately, Palestinians covered by Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) are eligible to apply for Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) valid through August 13, 2025. This follows a memorandum issued by President Biden on February 14, 2024, which defers the removal of certain Palestinians present in the U.S. from the time of the announcement through August 13, 2025. The memorandum directs the Department of Homeland Security to implement measures facilitating work authorization for eligible Palestinians and excludes individuals who entered the U.S. after February 14, 2024, from DED eligibility. Applicants will need to provide acceptable documentation, such as a Palestinian Authority passport or identification card, to support their applications.

Additionally, the announcement includes provisions for Special Student Relief for Palestinian F-1 nonimmigrant students, allowing them to request employment authorization, work more hours during the school session and reduce their course load while maintaining their F-1 status. These measures aim to assist Palestinians in maintaining economic stability and educational pursuits during their stay in the U.S. under DED. USCIS has committed to adjudicating each EAD application on a case-by-case basis, ensuring a fair, humane and efficient process.

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