Deferred Enforcement Departure and the Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act

Updated March 31, 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 law called the Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act (LRIFA).

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 Act (LRIFA).

Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act

On December 20, 2019, Congress passed the Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act, a special law that allows Liberian nationals who have lived 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 LRIFA applications as of December 26, 2019. Please visit the USCIS website for more information on eligibility requirements. 

It is important to know under LRIFA:

  • Applications for green cards must be filed by December 20, 2020
  • When you have a pending green card application based on the LRIFA, you may apply for work authorization
  • Your spouse and 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 LRIFA 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."