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 berryapplemanleiden@bal.com.

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