The U.S. State Department has waived and modified Exchange Visitor Program regulations for some Ukrainian students on J-1 visas.

Key Points:

  • Eligible Ukrainian students are now exempt from the “full course of study” requirement. And are now allowed to work on- or off-campus for more than 20 hours a week and for longer than twelve months.
  • Degree-seeking Ukrainian students can limit their course work to half of their academic institutions’ definition of a full-course of study; non-degree-seeking Ukrainian students can reduce participation in their academic programs from full- to part-time.
  • Sponsors can grant advanced, written employment approval to last beyond the twelve months that the provision currently allows.
  • Individuals eligible for Special Student Relief must have continuously resided in the United States since April 11, 2022.

Additional Information: Special Student Relief with respect to program status and employment for J-1 Ukrainian students does not apply to Federal Work-Study jobs. The waived and modified regulations will remain in effect until at least Oct. 23, 2023, unless the U.S. government ends the arrangement early or both the U.S. and Ukrainian governments extend its end date. The full Federal Register notice is available here.

BAL Analysis: The temporary changes of the Exchange Visitor Program regulations only address conditions that eligible Ukrainian exchange visitors must meet to be in status and comply with Exchange Visitor Program eligibility requirements. The State Department modified the requirements so that it can extend Special Student Relief to eligible Ukrainian J-1 students in the U.S. to mitigate the impact of Russia’s invasions of Ukraine has on them.

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

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