By Felicia J. Persaud

News Americas, FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Fri. April 26, 2024: Amid the dark news daily from Gaza and Palestine and the thousands of lives lost, there is finally some good news for Palestinians in the US covered by Deferred Enforced Departure, (DED).

Pro-Palestinian protesters hold a small rally outside of Columbia University on April 24, 2024 in New York City. School administrators and pro-Palestinian, student protesters made progress on negotiations after the school set a midnight deadline for students to disband the encampment. The students agreed to remove a significant number of the tents that have been erected on the lawn, and ensured that non-students would leave, and bar discriminatory or harassing language among the protesters. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recently posted a Federal Register notice establishing procedures for DED Palestinians to apply for Employment Authorization Documents, (EADs), aka work permits. Those work permits that will be valid through Aug. 13, 2025.

The Federal Register notice of April 15th describes eligible Palestinians and acceptable documentation such as a Palestinian Authority passport or identification card.

USCIS has reiterated that “it adjudicates each EAD application fairly, humanely, and efficiently on a case-by-case basis to determine if they meet all standards and eligibility criteria.”

Over the past year, USCIS has reduced EAD processing times overall and streamlined adjudication processing.

The news comes almost two months after President Biden issued a memorandum on DED for Palestinians on Feb. 14, 2024, deferring through Aug. 13, 2025, the removal of certain Palestinians present in the United States at the time of the announcement.  The memorandum directed the Department of Homeland Security to take appropriate measures to authorize employment for Palestinians eligible for DED and to consider suspending certain regulatory requirements for Palestinian F-1 non-immigrant students.

There is no application for DED.  Palestinians are covered under DED based on the terms described in the president’s directive. Eligible Palestinians can apply for an EAD by filing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization with USCIS. The cost is USD 470 if filing online and $520 if submitting a paper filing.

Individuals who wish to travel outside of the United States based on DED must file Form I-131, Application for Travel Document with the USCIS. The cost is USD 630.

Remember when submitting applications, photos must be “unmounted” and “unretouched.” Unretouched means the photos must not be edited or digitally enhanced. The submission of any mounted or retouched images will delay the processing of your application and may prompt USCIS to require that you appear at an Applicant Support Center to verify your identity.

EAD card will be mailed via U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Priority Mail. The time frame in which an immigrant may will receive their EAD card may vary, depending on USPS delivery times.

Allow a total of 30 days from approval before inquiring with USCIS and do use the Case Status Online to and your USPS tracking number for EAD card delivery time. If you have not received your EAD card within this time frame, visit the e-Request – Self Service Tools at for instructions on how to submit an inquiry.

Remember, Palestinians who entered the United States after Feb. 14 2024, are, not eligible for DED and therefore cannot apply for an EAD.

Meanwhile, another bone was thrown to Palestinian students by the Biden administration. Palestinians on F-1 non-immigrant student visa may now also request employment authorization, work an increased number of hours while school is in session, and reduce their course load while continuing to maintain F-1 status through the DED period. 

Felicia J. Persaud is the publisher of, a daily news outlet focusing on Black immigrant issues.

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