USCIS provides guidance for individuals authorized to work under SSR provisions

22 Feb 23


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recently provided guidance to clarify the validity period of employment authorization under Special Student Relief.

Key Points:

  • USCIS clarified that it can grant off-campus SSR employment authorization for the entire duration of the Federal Register notice validity period, typically an 18-month period.
  • However, employment authorization cannot be extended past the student’s academic program end date.
  • F-1 students who are eligible for SSR must file an application with USCIS; more information regarding the application process is available here.

Additional Information: Countries and regions with current SSR provisions include: Afghanistan, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Haiti, Hong Kong, Myanmar (Burma), Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela and Yemen.

BAL Analysis: USCIS provides SSR when circumstance such as financial crises, natural disasters and military conflicts occur. F-1 nonimmigrant students from eligible countries are reminded that they may qualify for off-campus work authorization in cases of severe economic hardship due to emergent circumstances.

This alert has been provided by BAL U.S. Practice Group. For additional information, please contact

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