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ICE Approves Special Relief for Certain F-1 Haitian Students


U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has approved special relief for certain F-1 Haitian students who have suffered severe economic hardship as result of the January 12, 2010, earthquake in Haiti. This relief applies only to students who were lawfully present in the United States in F-1 status on January 12, and enrolled in an institution that is certified by ICE’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program.

The suspension of certain regulatory requirements allows eligible Haitian F-1 students to obtain employment authorization, work an increased number of hours during the school term and, if necessary, reduce their course load while continuing to maintain their F-1 student status.

F-1 students granted employment authorization by means of the notice will be deemed to be engaged in a full course of study if they meet the minimum courseload requirements specified in the notice.

“We want to ensure that students from Haiti, who were here at the time of January’s tragic events, are able to concentrate on their studies without the worry of financial burdens created by the devastation of the earthquake,” said Louis Farrell, director of the Student and Exchange Visitor Program. “These students have the full support of SEVP [the Student and Exchange Visitor Program] and designated school officials for assistance.”

ICE manages SEVP and the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System.

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