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
AfghanNovember 20, 2023
May 20, 202588 FR 65721
Burma (Myanmar)May 26, 2024November 25, 202586 FR 28128
Burma Re-designationNovember 26, 2022May 25, 202487 FR 58509
CameroonDecember 8, 2023June 7, 202588 FR 69939
EthiopiaJune 13, 2024December 12, 202587 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
Palestinian Territories February 14, 2024August 13, 202589 FR 26156
SomaliaMarch 18, 2023September 17, 202488 FR 15427
Somalia Re-designationMarch 18, 2023September 17, 202488 FR 15427
South SudanNovember 4,2023May 3, 202588 FR 60965 
SyriaApril 1, 2024September 30, 202589 FR 5557
Syria Re-designationApril 1, 2024
September 30, 2025
89 FR 5557

UkraineOctober 20, 2023April 19, 202588 FR 56851
VenezuelaMarch 11, 2024
September 10, 2025
89 FR 17500
Venezuela Re-designationMarch 11, 2024September 10, 202589 FR 17500

YemenMarch 4, 2023September 3, 202488 FR 88
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