USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) has announced a temporary new ‘safe haven’ program to make it easier for eligible citizens of Hong Kong to remain in the United States. Many Hong Kongers left Hong Kong due to a heightened security initiative by China, and came to the U.S.
To be eligible for the new program, the individual must:
• be a person of “any nationality” with a Hong Kong passport, identity card or document, or British National (Overseas) passport
• have continually lived in the US since August 5
The program will allow Hong Kong residents to remain and potentially work in the US for as long as 18 months. They will also be able to apply to leave and re-enter the United States. In his August 5 memorandum to announce the upcoming safe haven deferred removal program, President Biden said:
“Offering safe haven for Hong Kong residents who have been deprived of their guaranteed freedoms in Hong Kong furthers United States interests in the region. The United States will not waver in our support of people in Hong Kong.”
In June 2020, China imposed a tightened national security law on Hong Kong. An estimated tens of thousands of people from the former British colony, including many on student visas, could qualify for the new US immigration program. The United Kingdom, Australia and Canada have also opened new immigration programs for Hong Kongers.
In response to the new restrictions, the US has:
• rolled back special economic privileges granted to the city
• sanctioned senior officials who oversee the territory
• warned American businesses about the risks of operating under the new law
Immigration attorney Mario Godoy and the experienced immigration legal team at Godoy Law Office can assess your situation and advise you on your best options to apply for a student visa. Call today at 630-912-0322.