Federal Register, Volume 80 Issue 164 (Tuesday, August 25, 2015)
[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 164 (Tuesday, August 25, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 51579-51580]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-21005]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

[DHS Docket No. ICEB-2010-0003]
RIN 1653-ZA08


Extension of Employment Authorization for Haitian F-1 
Nonimmigrant Students Experiencing Severe Economic Hardship as a Direct 
Result of the January 12, 2010 Earthquake in Haiti

AGENCY: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), DHS.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: This notice informs the public of the extension of an earlier 
notice, which suspended certain requirements for F-1 nonimmigrant 
students whose country of citizenship is Haiti and who are experiencing 
severe economic

[[Page 51580]]

hardship as a direct result of the January 12, 2010 earthquake in 
Haiti. This notice extends the effective date of that notice. These 
students will continue to be allowed to apply for employment 
authorization, work an increased number of hours while school is in 
session provided that they satisfy the minimum course load requirement, 
while continuing to maintain their F-1 student status until July 22, 
2017.

DATES: This notice is effective August 25, 2015, and will remain in 
effect until July 22, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Louis Farrell, Director, Student and 
Exchange Visitor Program, MS 5600, U.S. Immigration and Customs 
Enforcement, 500 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20536-5600; email: 
sevp@ice.dhs.gov, telephone: (703) 603-3400. This is not a toll-free 
number. Program information can be found at http://www.ice.gov/sevis/.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

What action is DHS taking under this notice?

    The Secretary of Homeland Security is exercising authority under 8 
CFR 214.2(f)(9) to extend the suspension of the applicability of 
certain requirements governing on-campus and off-campus employment for 
F-1 nonimmigrant students whose country of citizenship is Haiti and who 
are experiencing severe economic hardship as a direct result of the of 
the January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti. See 75 FR 56120 (Sept. 15, 
2010) (2010 Haitian F-1 nonimmigrant notice). The original notice was 
effective from September 15, 2010, until July 22, 2011. Subsequent 
notices provided for an 18-month extension from July 22, 2011, until 
January 22, 2013 (76 FR 28997, May 19, 2011); from January 22, 2013, 
until July 22, 2014 (77 FR 59942, Oct. 1, 2012); and again from July 
22, 2014, until January 22, 2016 (79 FR 11805, Mar. 03, 2014). 
Effective with this publication, suspension of certain requirements 
involving employment is extended for 18 months from January 22, 2016, 
until July 22, 2017.
    F-1 nonimmigrant students granted employment authorization through 
the notice will continue to be deemed to be engaged in a ``full course 
of study'' for the duration of their employment authorization, provided 
they satisfy the minimum course load requirement described in the 2010 
Haitian F-1 nonimmigrant notice. See 8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)(i)(F).

Who is covered under this action?

    This notice applies exclusively to F-1 nonimmigrant students whose 
country of citizenship is Haiti and who were lawfully present in the 
United States in F-1 nonimmigrant status on January 12, 2010, under 
section 101(a)(15)(F)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 
8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(F)(i); and who are--
    (1) Enrolled in an institution that is Student and Exchange Visitor 
Program (SEVP)-certified for enrollment of F-1 students,
    (2) Currently maintaining F-1 status, and
    (3) Experiencing severe economic hardship as a direct result of the 
January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti.
    This notice applies to both undergraduate and graduate students, as 
well as elementary school, middle school, and high school students. The 
notice, however, applies differently to elementary school, middle 
school, and high school students (see the discussion published in the 
2010 Haitian F-1 nonimmigrant notice, 75 FR 56120, available at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2010-09-15/pdf/2010-22929.pdf, in the 
question, ``Does this notice apply to elementary school, middle school, 
and high school students in F-1 status?'').
    F-1 students covered by this notice who transfer to other academic 
institutions that are SEVP-certified for enrollment of F-1 students 
remain eligible for the relief provided by means of this notice.

Why is DHS taking this action?

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) took action to provide 
temporary relief to F-1 nonimmigrant students whose country of 
citizenship is Haiti and who experienced severe economic hardship 
because of the January 12, 2010 earthquake. See 75 FR 56120. That 
action enabled these F-1 students to obtain employment authorization, 
work an increased number of hours while school was in session, and 
reduce their course load, while continuing to maintain their F-1 
student status.
    The January 12, 2010 earthquake caused extensive damage to Haiti's 
infrastructure, public health, agriculture, transportation, and 
educational facilities. While significant progress has been made in 
living conditions and infrastructure in Haiti, the country continues to 
struggle with many people still displaced as a result of the 
earthquake, and it faces ongoing challenges to its overall economic 
situation. According to the International Organization for Migration 
(IOM), as of January 9, 2015, approximately 80,000 Haitians remain in 
temporary camps.\1\ For these reasons, among others, Haiti continues to 
experience significant difficulties as the country strives to recover. 
F-1 nonimmigrant students whose country of citizenship is Haiti may 
depend on money from relatives in Haiti who are themselves continuing 
to recover from the earthquake.
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    \1\ International Organization for Migration (IOM): ``Five Years 
After 2010 Earthquake, Thousands of Haitians Remain Displaced'' 
(Jan. 9, 2015), available at http://www.iom.int/news/five-years-after-2010-earthquake-thousands-haitians-remain-displaced.
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    The United States is committed to continuing to assist the people 
of Haiti. DHS is therefore extending the suspension of certain 
requirements involving employment authorization for certain F-1 
nonimmigrant students whose country of citizenship is Haiti and who are 
continuing to experience severe economic hardship as a result of the 
earthquake.

How do I apply for an employment authorization under the circumstances 
of this notice?

    F-1 nonimmigrant students whose country of citizenship is Haiti; 
who were lawfully present in the United States on January 12, 2010; and 
who are experiencing severe economic hardship because of the January 
12, 2010 earthquake may apply for employment authorization under the 
guidelines described in the 2010 Haitian F-1 nonimmigrant notice. This 
notice extends the time period during which such F-1 students may seek 
employment authorization due to the earthquake. It does not impose any 
new or additional policies or procedures beyond those listed in the 
original notice. All interested F-1 students should follow the 
instructions listed in the original notice.

Jeh Charles Johnson,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2015-21005 Filed 8-24-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9111-28-P