USCIS Changes Policy Guidance Regarding Special Student Relief

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recently announced that it is clarifying the validity period of off-campus employment authorization for international students pursuant to the Special Student Relief (SSR) package.

Special Student Relief is the special benefit awarded to certain groups of international students who are here on F-1 status and are experiencing severe economic hardship due to emergent circumstances in their country. The SSR is designated through publication of a Federal Register Notice, which prescribes the beginning and the suspension of the benefit. Benefits of SSR may include authorization to work off-campus and take a reduced course load.

On February 22, 2023, USCIS announced that the secretary of Homeland Security may suspend the current one-year temporal limitation of the off-campus employment authorization and extend it to the duration of the Federal Register Notice validity period but not to exceed the F-1 student’s academic program date. Anyone eligible to receive the SSR benefits must check the validity dates of the Federal Register Notice for their country of origin.

For specific advice in this or any immigration matter, it is recommended to seek the advice of experienced immigration counsel for proper guidance. 

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.