Relief for Haitian F-1 Students
DHS Offers Temporary Employment Authorization to Certain Haitian F-1 Students Affected By the January 12, 2010 Earthquake
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is suspending certain requirements for employment authorization for Haitian F-1 nonimmigrant students experiencing severe economic hardship as a direct result of the January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti.
Why is DHS taking this action?
DHS is taking this action because Haiti has limited resources to cope with a natural disaster such as this earthquake, which was the strongest one to strike the nation in 200 years. As a result, many students with F-1 visas whose primary means of financial support comes from family members in Haiti need special exemption from student employment requirements in order to continue their studies in the United States. Without employment authorization, these students may lack the means to pay basic living expenses.
This temporary relief will allow Haitian F-1 nonimmigrant students to obtain employment authorization, work an increased number of hours while school is in session and reduce their course load, while continuing to maintain their F-1 student status. Please see the minimum course load requirement section below.
Who Is Eligible?
F-1 students whose country of citizenship is Haiti are eligible if they:
For detailed information on each student group, please see the Federal Register notice.
Who Is Not Eligible?
Students who arrived after January 12, 2010 do not meet these requirements even if they are experiencing severe economic hardship as a direct result of the January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti.
How Do I Apply?
Students should work with their Designated School Official (DSO) to apply. The application process varies depending on whether the student:
Please see the Federal Register notice for detailed information on the application process. The notice includes information on forms and fees.
How does this change affect Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?
This temporary relief does not affect an F-1 student’s eligibility to apply for TPS. Students may hold temporary protected status and student relief concurrently. They must submit their TPS application according to the instructions provided in the Federal Register notice designating Haiti for TPS.
What is the minimum course load requirement?
Undergraduate students who are granted on-campus or off-campus employment authorization under this notice must remain registered for a minimum of 6 semester/quarter hours of instruction per academic term. Graduate-level F-1 students who are granted on-campus or off-campus employment authorization under this notice must remain registered for a minimum of 3 semester/quarter hours of instruction per academic term. See 8 CFR 214.2(f)(5)(v). In addition, F-1 students (both undergraduate and graduate) granted on-campus or off-campus employment authorization under this notice may count up to the equivalent of one class or three credits per session, term, semester, trimester, or quarter of online or distance education toward satisfying this minimum course load requirement. See 8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)(i)(G).
How long will this student benefit remain in effect?
This notice grants temporary relief to a specific group of F-1 students whose country of citizenship is Haiti until July 22, 2011. During this period, DHS will continue to monitor the situation in Haiti and will announce any changes in the Federal Register.