Deferred Enforced Departure and Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness

Updated March 8, 2021.

On November 18, 2020 New York City and Philadelphia issued a joint letter with peer cities Baltimore, Maryland; St. Paul, Minnesota; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Providence, Rhode Island to join advocates in urging Congress to extend the December 20, 2020 deadline for lawful permanent residence applications under Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness (LRIF) for at least one year, due to the stressors of COVID-19. New York City further has carried out outreach to inform impacted communities at the local level. Read the press release and learn more about LRIF below.

On December 27, 2020, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, which included a provision extending the deadline for LRIF applications for one year, until December 20, 2021.

Liberian DED

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 January 20, 2021, President Biden issued a memorandum extending DED and employment authorization through June 30, 2022 for eligible individuals who had DED Liberia as of January 10, 2021. Please visit the USCIS website for more information on eligibility and how to apply.

Liberians covered by DED may be eligible for lawful permanent resident status (“green cards”) under a provision of law called Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness (LRIF).

Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness (LRIF)

On December 20, 2019, Congress passed an Act that included a special provision called 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 lawful permanent residence. While the deadline was originally December 20, 2020, it has now been extended to December 20, 2021.

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 lawful permanent resident status must be filed by December 20, 2021
  • When you have a pending application based on the LRIF, you may apply for work authorization
  • Your spouse and unmarried children may also qualify for lawful permanent resident status
  • There is no public charge test for those applying based on LRIF

Get legal help

New York City residents can contact Staten Island Legal Services at 718-233-6480 between 9AM – 5PM, Monday through Friday, to seek legal help and ask about application fee assistance that may be available.

Immigrant New Yorkers can also call the ActionNYC hotline at 800-354-0365 between 9AM – 6PM, Monday through Friday, to access a range of City-funded immigration legal help.

Additional Resources

LRIF Graphics

What's Important to Know About LRIF

Venezuelan DED

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 January 19, 2021, former President Trump issued a memorandum granting DED and work authorization to Venezuelans residing in the U.S. for a period of 18 months. DED for Venezuelans is in effect from January 20, 2021 through July 20, 2022. Please visit the USCIS website for information on eligibility and how to apply. Note that not all Venezuelans will be eligible for DED.

On March 8, 2021, DHS designated Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Please visit our TPS page for more information.

Immigrant New Yorkers can call the ActionNYC hotline at 800-354-0365 between 9AM – 6PM, Monday through Friday, to access a range of City-funded immigration legal help.