DHS Extends Haitian F-1 Special Student Relief Until January 22, 2013

May 19, 2011 By: DHS Download pdf

76 Fed. Reg. 28997 (May 19, 2011)

On May 19, 2011, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) extended the coverage period of "special student relief" benefits for Haitian F-1 students, until January 22, 2013. The original September 15, 2010 notice had provided an initial coverage period until July, 22, 2011. Refer to the September 15, 2010 notice for eligibility requirements and procedures.

Text of the May 19, 2011 Federal Register Notice

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 97 (Thursday, May 19, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 28997-28998]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office
[www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-12430]

DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

[DHS Docket No. ICEB-2011-0003]
RIN 1653-ZA01

Extension of Employment Authorization for Haitian F-1 Nonimmigrant Students Experiencing Severe Economic Hardship as a Direct Result of the January 12, 2010 Earthquake in Haiti

AGENCY: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), DHS.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: This notice informs the public of the extension of an earlier notice, which suspended certain requirements for F-1 nonimmigrant students whose country of citizenship is Haiti and who are experiencing severe economic hardship as a direct result of the January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti. This notice extends the effective date of that notice.

DATES: This notice is effective July 22, 2011 and will remain in effect until January 22, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Louis Farrell, Director, Student and Exchange Visitor Program; MS 5600, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; 500 12th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20536-5600; (703) 603-3400. This is not a toll-free number. Program information can be found at http://www.ice.gov/sevis/.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

What action is DHS taking under this notice?
The Secretary of Homeland Security is exercising her authority under 8 CFR 214.2(f)(9) to extend the suspension of the applicability of certain requirements governing on-campus and off-campus employment for F-1 nonimmigrant students whose country of citizenship is Haiti and who are experiencing severe economic hardship as a direct result of the January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti. See 75 FR 56120. The previous notice was effective from September 15, 2010 until July 22, 2011. Effective with this publication, suspension of the requirements is extended 18 months, from July 22, 2011 until January 22, 2013.

F-1 students granted employment authorization through that notice were deemed to be engaged in a ``full course of study'' for the duration of their employment authorization, provided they satisfied the minimum course load requirement described in 75 FR 56120. See 8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)(i)(F).

Who is covered under this action?
This notice applies exclusively to F-1 students whose country of citizenship is Haiti and who were lawfully present in the United States in F-1 nonimmigrant status on January 12, 2010 under section 101(a)(15)(F)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 101(a)(15)(F)(i), and (1) Are enrolled in an institution that is Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified for enrollment of F-1 students, (2) are currently maintaining F-1 status, and (3) are experiencing severe economic hardship as a direct result of the January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

This notice applies both to undergraduate and graduate students, as well as elementary school, middle school, and high school students. The notice, however, applies differently to elementary school, middle school, and high school students (see the discussion published in 75 FR 56121 in the question, "Does this notice apply to elementary school, middle school, and high school students in F-1 status?").

F-1 students covered by this notice who transfer to other academic institutions that are SEVP-certified for enrollment of F-1 students remain eligible for the relief provided by means of this notice.

Why is DHS taking this action?
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) took action to provide temporary relief to F-1 students whose country of citizenship is Haiti and experienced severe economic hardship as a result of the January 12, 2010 earthquake. See 75 FR 56120. It enabled these F-1 students to obtain employment authorization, work an increased number of hours while school was in session, and reduce their course load, while continuing to maintain their F-1 student status. DHS also took action to extend Temporary Protected Status to Haiti in response to the January 12, 2010 earthquake. See 75 FR 3476.

Haiti has limited resources to cope with a natural disaster like this earthquake, which was the strongest one to strike the island nation in 200 years. The country's critical infrastructure was severely damaged, and many government offices, schools, businesses, and hospitals were completely destroyed. Haiti continues to deal with the aftermath of the earthquake.

As Haiti continues to rebuild its infrastructure and economy, this difficult period has affected students from Haiti studying in the United States. Many of these students depend on money from relatives in Haiti who are themselves continuing to recover from the earthquake.

The U.S. is committed to continuing to assist the people of Haiti. DHS is therefore extending this employment authorization for F-1 Haitian nonimmigrant students that are continuing to experience severe economic hardship as a result of the earthquake.

How do I apply for an employment authorization under the circumstances of this notice?
F-1 Haitian students who were lawfully present in the U.S. on January 12, 2010 and are experiencing severe economic hardship as a result of the earthquake may apply for employment authorization under the guidelines described in 75 FR 56120. This notice extends the time period during which F-1 Haitian students may seek employment authorization due to the earthquake. It does not impose any new or additional policies or procedures beyond those listed in the original notice. All interested F-1 students should follow the instructions listed in the original notice.

Janet Napolitano,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2011-12430 Filed 5-18-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9111-28-P