Deferred Enforcement Departure and Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness

Updated August 12, 2020.

Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) is a benefit authorized at the discretion of the President that allows certain individuals to live and work in the United States for a designated period of time. On March 27, 2018, the President announced that DED for Liberia would end. DED for Liberians was set to expire on March 30, 2020, however on March 30, 2020, the President extended DED until January 10, 2021. This allows Liberians with DED to keep their work authorization while they can apply for a green card (Legal Permanent Resident status) under a new provision of law called the Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness (LRIF).

Individuals who believe they are impacted by this decision should get a legal consultation from a trusted legal services provider. Call 311 and say “ActionNYC” to make an appointment for free, safe legal help in your community, and in your language.

Liberian DED

Employment authorization for Liberians under Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) will expire on January 10, 2021, but Liberians covered by DED may be eligible for green cards (Legal Permanent Resident status) under a new law called the Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness (LRIF).

Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness (LRIF)

On December 20, 2019, Congress passed an Act that included a special provision called the Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness (LRIF), which allows certain Liberian nationals who have lived continuously in the United States since November 20, 2014 to apply for green cards. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has begun accepting LRIF applications as of December 26, 2019. Please visit the USCIS website for more information on eligibility requirements and special instructions to apply.

It is important to know under LRIF:

  • Applications for green cards must be filed by December 20, 2020
  • When you have a pending green card application based on the LRIF, you may apply for work authorization
  • Your spouse and unmarried children may also qualify for green cards
  • There is no public charge test for those applying for green cards 

Get legal help

Any New Yorker with questions on how they can apply for a green card under LRIF should consult with a free, trusted legal advisor. New York City residents can call ActionNYC at 1-800-354-0365 between 9AM-6PM, Monday - Friday or call 311 and say "ActionNYC."

Additionally, Staten Island residents may also contact Staten Island Legal Services at 718-233-6480 between 9AM – 5PM, Monday – Friday, to speak with intake staff.

Additional Resources