Special Student Relief (SSR)

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has the ability to suspend certain F-1 requirements if it is determined the country is experiencing severe hardship that is impacting F-1 students in the U.S. These affected students may request employment authorization, work an increased number of hours while school is in session, and reduce their course load during employment.


Students may be eligible if they:

  • Are a citizen of a country specified in an Federal Register (FR) notice and were lawfully present in the U.S on the effective date of the FR notice. 
  • Have maintained active F-1 status and have been continuously enrolled in a SEVP-certified school since the FR effective date.
  • Are experiencing severe economic hardship as a direct result of the current humanitarian crisis referenced in the FR notice.
Country of CitizenshipEffective DateExpiration DateFR Notice
AfghanMay 20, 2022November 20, 202387 FR 30971
Burma (Myanmar)May 25, 2021November 25, 202286 FR 28128
Burma Re-designationNovember 26, 2022May 25, 202487 FR 58509
CameroonJune 7, 2022December 7, 202387 FR 34701
EthiopiaDecember 12, 2022June 12, 202487 FR 76068
HaitiAugust 3, 2021August 3, 202486 FR 41857
Haiti Re-designationFebruary 4, 2023August 3, 202488 FR 5016
Hong KongNovember 26, 2021February 5, 202386 FR 67485
Hong Kong Re-designationJanuary 26, 2023February 5, 202588 FR 28584
SomaliaSeptember 18, 2021March 17, 202386 FR 38739
Somalia Re-designationMarch 18, 2023September 17, 202488 FR 15427
South SudanMarch 3, 2022November 3, 202387 FR 12182
SyriaApril 22, 2021September 30, 202286 FR 21333
Syria Re-designationOctober 1, 2022April 1, 202487 FR 48975
UkraineApril 19, 2022October 19, 202387 FR 23189
VenezuelaApril 22, 2021September 9, 202286 FR 21328
Venezuela Re-designationSeptember 10, 2022March 10, 202487 FR 55017
YemenSeptember 4, 2021March 3, 202386 FR 36288
Yemen Re-designationMarch 4, 2023September 3, 202488 FR 88

Application Process

1. Complete the SSR Application and email it to international@seminolestate.edu for review.

2. If approved, you will receive an updated I-20 with the SSR recommendation emailed to your student email account. 

3. Prepare the application package: 

  • Complete the Form I-765 (Form Instructions). You must complete the fillable electronic version and type your responses- do not use the online filing. Item #27 should be completed as (c)(3)(iii). Make sure to print and sign the application in ink. 
  • Provide the required fee with a check or money order payable to the "Department of Homeland Security" or submit the Form I-912 Fee Waiver.
  • Provide the signed and dated I-20 with SSR recommendation.
  • Include a copy of your most recent I-94.
  • Provide two identical passport-style photos. 
  • Include a copy of your passport information page and F-1 visa page.
  • Provide a statement explaining that the employment is necessary to avoid severe economic hardship and that the hardship is a direct result of the current humanitarian crisis in your country.

4. Send the application in an envelope which is clearly marked on the front of the envelope, bottom right-hand side, with the phrase “SPECIAL STUDENT RELIEF” to the USCIS Chicago Lockbox. 

  • U.S. Postal Service (USPS):
    Attn: I-765 C03
    P.O. Box 805373
    Chicago, IL 60680-5374
  • FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries:
    Attn: I-765 C03 (Box 805373)
    131 South Dearborn - 3rd Floor
    Chicago, IL 60603-5517

5. When your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) arrives, make an appointment with the International Office to discuss your employment eligibility and reduced course load* options. You cannot begin working or reduce your course load until the start date listed on your EAD.

*F-1 students with approved SSR must maintain enrollment in at least 6 credit hours each semester.


100 Weldon Boulevard
Sanford, FL 32773

Future Students: Call or Text 407.708.2398
Current Students: email International@seminolestate.edu