The USCIS announced today that they will be giving, or providing the opportunity for certain Hong Kong residents, in the United States, to apply for working authorization. In other words Hong Kongers temporarily in the United States will now have the opportunity to apply for a work permit and live in the United States for the next 18 months.  

On August 5th, 2021, the Biden Administration released an important memo on the situation in Hong Kong with respect to the ongoing crisis this territory has had with mainland Chin and mainly the crackdown on democratic freedoms.

The memorandum stated that the U.S. government stands with the people of Hong Kong, and is committed to upholding, and promoting the basic human rights of citizens around the world. Since June of 2020, the Hong Kong police have arrested thousands of Hong Kong residents, mainly in retaliation for anyone who protests, or is thought to have been protesting, against the PRC.[1] As the rights and democratic freedoms of Hong Kongers has been steadily eroding, the United States is committed to providing a safe haven for certain Hong Kong residents who have been present in the U.S. since the August 5th memo went out.

The basis for eligibility for remaining in the United States if you are a Hong Kong resident is as follows:

1.     Hong Kong residents need to have continuously resided in the U.S. since August 5th.

2.     Hong Kong residents based in the U.S. need to generally not be inadmissible to the U.S. based on having committed felonies or misdemeanors while temporarily residing in the country.

3.     Hong Kong residents interested in applying for a work permit need to not present any immediate threat to the U.S. or present a danger to public safety.

Filing for a Work Permit

In order to file for a work permit (working authorization) Hong Kong residents temporarily in the U.S. need to take the same steps as other visa holders or dependents might by filing an I-765 application. However, the USCIS notes that while filling out the I-765, On Form I-765, indicate that you are covered under DED for Hong Kong by putting “(a)(11)” in response to Question 27.[2] You may request a fee waiver by submitting Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, or a written request.

USCIS Work Permit