Update: On June 10, 2011, DHS and DOS granted special student relief benefits for certain F-1 and J-1 students:
On April 18, 2011, NAFSA sent a letter to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), asking that the Department of Homeland Security grant "special student relief" benefits to F-1 students. The special student relief provisions would allow specified F–1 students to engage in on-campus employment for more than 20 hours per week and suspend the applicability of the eligibility requirements for off-campus employment authorization. The provisions would also allow F–1 students who find it necessary to reduce their normal course of study in order to engage in this specially authorized employment to be considered to be maintaining status and pursuing a full course of study. DHS most recently invoked the “special student relief” provisions on September 15, 2010, for Haitian F-1 students, following the natural disaster in that country.