USA: Special Student Relief for Ukraine and Sudan

The international education industry in the USA has welcomed a move by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to apply Special Student Relief and Temporary Protected Status to students from Ukraine, as well as those from Sudan.

DHS confirmed in a notice that Special Student Relief was applied from April 18th, which suspends certain regulations for F-1 students from Ukraine and Sudan and allows student to work on or off-campus until October 2023.

Student Special Relief is given when particular world events such as wars, financial crises and natural disasters create significant financial hardships.

At the same time, DHS applied Temporary Protected Status to citizens from Ukraine and Sudan for a period of 18 months, effective from April 19th.

To be eligible under the Ukraine designation, individuals must demonstrate continuous residence in the USA since April 11th 2022, and continuous physical presence in the country since the date in the Federal Register notice (April 19th 2022).

Individuals from Ukraine and Sudan can now apply for TPS, which when granted means that they cannot be removed from the US during the TPS period and can receive work authorisation.

The Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration – an association of more than 500 heads of public and private higher education institutions – welcomed the decision, which it said would provide relief and flexibility to students from those countries, but also called for SSR for students from Cameroon, which has been granted TPS.

Jill Welch, Senior Policy Advisor to the Presidents’ Alliance, said in a statement, “The decision to couple Special Student Relief (SSR) alongside Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is very encouraging and should be applied to all countries experiencing crises. SSR is particularly important to international students from these countries who may need to work more hours off-campus or drop below a full-time course load without the risk of violating their student status. We urge DHS to keep moving toward being more responsive to the needs of crisis-impacted populations determined to succeed and build a better future.”

Other countries with current SSR status include: Myanmar, Haiti, Hong Kong, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen.

Read full article at Study Travel Magazine

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