[Federal Register Volume 89, Number 132 (Wednesday, July 10, 2024)]

[Notices]

[Pages 56759-56765]

From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

[FR Doc No: 2024-15082]



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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

[Docket No. ICEB-2024-0007]

RIN 1653-ZA51



Employment Authorization for Yemeni F-1 Nonimmigrant Students 

Experiencing Severe Economic Hardship as a Direct Result of the Current 

Crisis in Yemen

AGENCY: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of 

Homeland Security.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is suspending 

certain regulatory requirements for F-1 nonimmigrant students from 

Yemen who are experiencing severe economic hardship as a direct result 

of the current crisis in Yemen. The Secretary is providing relief to 

these students who are in lawful F-1 nonimmigrant status, so the 

students may request employment authorization, work an increased number 

of hours while school is in session, and reduce their course load while 

continuing to maintain their F-1 nonimmigrant status.

DATES: This action covers eligible Yemeni F-1 nonimmigrant students 

beginning on September 4, 2024, and ending on March 3, 2026.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sharon Snyder, Unit Chief, Policy and 

Response Unit, 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 athttps://www.ice.gov/sevis/.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

What action is DHS taking under this notice?

The Secretary is exercising authority under 8 CFR 214.2(f)(9) to 

temporarily suspend the applicability of certain requirements governing 

on-campus and off-campus employment for F-1 nonimmigrant students whose 

country of citizenship is Yemen regardless of country of birth (or 

individuals having no nationality who last habitually resided in 

Yemen), who are present in the United States in lawful F-1 nonimmigrant 

student status on the date of publication of this notice, and who are 

experiencing severe economic hardship as a direct result of the current 

crisis in Yemen. The original notice, which applied to F-1 nonimmigrant 

students who met certain criteria, including having been lawfully 

present in the United States in F-1 nonimmigrant status on September 4, 

2021, was effective from September 4, 2021, through March 3, 2023. See 

86 FR 36288 (July 9, 2021). Most recently, DHS issued a notice which 

applied to F-1 nonimmigrant students who met certain criteria, 

including having been lawfully present in the United States in F-1 

nonimmigrant status on January 3, 2023, that was effective from March 

4, 2023, through September 3, 2024. See 88 FR 88 (Jan. 3, 2023). 

Effective with this publication, suspension of the employment 

limitations is available through March 3, 2026, for those who are in 

lawful F-1 nonimmigrant status on the date of publication of this 

notice. DHS will deem an F-1 nonimmigrant student granted employment 

authorization through this notice to be engaged in a ``full course of 

study'' for the duration of the employment authorization, if the 

student satisfies the minimum course load set forth in this notice.\1\ 

See 8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)(i)(F).

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\1\ Because the suspension of requirements under this notice 

applies throughout an academic term during which the suspension is 

in effect, DHS considers an F-1 nonimmigrant student who engages in 

a reduced course load or employment (or both) after this notice is 

effective to be engaging in a ``full course of study,'' see 8 CFR 

214.2(f)(6), and eligible for employment authorization, through the 

end of any academic term for which such student is matriculated as 

of March 3, 2026, provided the student satisfies the minimum course 

load requirements in this notice.

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Who is covered by this notice?

This notice applies exclusively to F-1 nonimmigrant students who 

meet all of the following conditions:

(1) Are a citizen of Yemen regardless of country of birth (or an 

individual having no nationality who last habitually resided in Yemen);

(2) Were lawfully present in the United States on the date of 

publication of this notice in F-1 nonimmigrant status under section 

101(a)(15)(F)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 

1101(a)(15)(F)(i);

(3) Are enrolled in an academic institution that is Student and 

Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified for enrollment for F-1 

nonimmigrant students;

(4) Are currently maintaining F-1 nonimmigrant status; and

(5) Are experiencing severe economic hardship as a direct result of 

the current crisis in Yemen.

This notice applies to F-1 nonimmigrant students in an approved 

private school in kindergarten through

[[Page 56760]]

grade 12, public school grades 9 through 12, and undergraduate and 

graduate education. An F-1 nonimmigrant student covered by this notice 

who transfers to another SEVP-certified academic institution remains 

eligible for the relief provided by means of this notice.

Why is DHS taking this action?

DHS is taking action to provide relief to Yemeni F-1 nonimmigrant 

students experiencing severe economic hardship due to the current 

crisis in Yemen. Based on its review of country conditions in Yemen and 

input received from the U.S. Department of State (DOS), DHS is taking 

action to allow eligible F-1 nonimmigrant students from Yemen to 

request employment authorization, work an increased number of hours 

while school is in session, and reduce their course load while 

continuing to maintain F-1 nonimmigrant student status.

The humanitarian situation in Yemen has worsened considerably in 

the last 18 months. Thousands of civilians have reportedly been killed 

or injured due to armed conflict between Houthi forces and forces loyal 

to the internationally recognized government since the United Nations 

(UN)-supported truce between the parties expired in October 2022.\2\ 

Additionally, the presence of consistent armed conflict has led to the 

displacement of a large number of civilians, worsening an already grim 

humanitarian situation.\3\ The heightened security concerns, 

deteriorating humanitarian conditions, unstable economy, and other 

emergent circumstances have adversely affected much of the Yemeni 

population.

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\2\ Yemen, Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect, May 

31, 2024, available athttps://www.globalr2p.org/countries/yemen/

(last visited June 13, 2024).

\3\ Yemen--Complex Emergency Fact Sheet #5, Fiscal Year (FY) 

2024, Apr. 5, 2024, pp. 5-6, available athttps://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/yemen-complex-emergency-fact-sheet-5-fiscal-year-fy-2024 (last visited June 13, 2024).

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Security Concerns

Tactics used over the course of the conflict by the Houthi forces, 

the Saudi-led coalition backing the internationally recognized 

government,\4\ and domestic and international terrorist organizations 

operating inside of Yemen have put civilians at significant risk from 

conflict-related externalities following the UN-supported truce in 

2022.\5\ Explosive remnants of war, which consist of unexploded 

ordinances, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and landmines, pose a 

lasting threat to civilians in Yemen.\6\

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\4\ Daniel L. Byman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates 

Have a Disastrous Yemen Strategy, Brookings Institution, July 17, 

2018, available athttps://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2018/07/17/saudi-arabia-and-the-united-arab-emirates-have-a-disastrous-yemen-strategy (last visited June 13, 2024).

\5\ World Report--Yemen, Human Rights Watch 2023 World Report, 

available athttps://www.hrw.org/world-report/2022/country-chapters/yemen? (last visited June 13, 2024).

\6\ Yemen: Explosive remnants of war the biggest killer of 

children since truce began, Save the Children, June 30, 2022, 

available athttps://www.savethechildren.net/news/yemen-explosive-remnants-war-biggest-killed-children-truce-began (last visited June 

13, 2024).

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The DOS estimated that, as of April 2021, ``Houthi forces [have] 

laid over one million landmines and IEDs across the country.'' \7\ 

Experts have warned that landmines, which are largely unmapped, will 

pose a threat to human life for decades, even if a peace deal is 

reached between the warring parties.\8\ As of 2023, there is evidence 

that Houthis had continued to spread landmines across infrastructure 

areas, water sources, and farmlands.\9\ The group has also refused to 

share maps of landmines with mine removal authorities, making survival 

all the more difficult for the civilian populations in the affected 

areas.\10\

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\7\ Daniel Gurley, Small Steps Have a Big Impact for Yemeni 

Civilians, Department of State Dipnote: Military and Security, Apr. 

6, 2021, available athttps://www.state.gov/dipnote-u-s-department-of-state-official-blog/small-steps-have-a-big-impact-for-yemeni-civilians/ (last visited June 13, 2024).

\8\ Land mines will be hidden killer in Yemen decades after war, 

AP, Dec. 24, 2018, available athttps://www.apnews.com/bce0a80324d040f09843ceb3e4e45c1e (last visited June 13, 2024).

\9\ World Report--Yemen, Human Rights Watch 2024 World Report, 

available athttps://www.hrw.org/world-report/2024/country-chapters/yemen (last visited June 13, 2024).

\10\ Id.

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Humanitarian Concerns

The UN considers the humanitarian crisis in Yemen to be the largest 

in the world, with an estimated 24 million people (or close to 80 

percent of the population) needing assistance.\11\ In February 2024, 

the World Food Program (WFP) estimated the number of food insecure 

people was approximately 17 million, and that 18.6 million individuals 

will need humanitarian assistance in 2024.\12\ Additionally, 2.2 

million children between 6 to 59 months are under threat of acute 

malnutrition.\13\ The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees 

(UNHCR) has stated that internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Yemen 

are ``four times more likely to go hungry than the rest of the 

population'' and that ``62 percent of internally displaced families in 

Yemen have had to cut back on food.'' \14\ Moreover, a recent UN Food 

and Agriculture Organization report warned that ``[i]ncreased military 

activities in the Red Sea carries the risk of destruction of critical 

infrastructure, including ports and storage facilities. This can hamper 

the efficient distribution and storage of food in Yemen, further 

worsening food insecurity.'' \15\ The WFP further announced in December 

2023 that it would begin a ``pause in general food distributions in 

areas under the control of the Sana'a-based authorities, due to limited 

funding and no agreement with the authorities on a smaller programme.'' 

\16\ The latest development increases the likelihood that food 

insecurity will remain a major concern across Yemen for the foreseeable 

future.

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\11\ The United Nations in Yemen, available athttps://yemen.un.org/en/about/about-the-un (last visited June 13, 2024).

\12\ Emergency, Yemen, World Food Program, Feb. 2024, available 

athttps://www.wfp.org/emergencies/yemen-emergency (last visited 

June 13, 2024).

\13\ Yemen--World Food Programme, June 2022, available at 

https://docs.wfp.org/api/documents/WFP-0000141295/download/ (last 

visited June 13, 2024).

\14\ Get to know Fattoum, a displaced Yemeni mother who 

struggles to take care of her orphaned children., UNHCR, Apr. 22, 

2022, available athttps://zakat.unhcr.org/blog/en/beneficiaries/fattoum (last visited June 13, 2024).

\15\ Potential Impacts of Red Sea Crisis Escalation on Food 

Insecurity in Yemen, UNFOA, Feb. 28, 2024, available athttps://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/special-technical-paper-potential-impacts-red-sea-crisis-escalation-food-insecurity-yemen-issued-28th-february-2024 (last visited June 13, 2024).

\16\ Emergency, Yemen, World Food Program, Feb. 2024, available 

athttps://www.wfp.org/emergencies/yemen-emergency (last visited 

June 13, 2024).

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According to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), 

Yemen's ``current water network reaches less than 30 percent of the 

Yemeni population,'' leaving a majority of Yemenis to depend on 

alternate means of obtaining water.\17\ The ICRC reported that 

approximately 17.8 million people in Yemen (approximately 56 percent of 

the population) do not currently have access to clean water and 

sanitation.\18\ In December 2023, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported 

that the parties to the Yemeni conflict have had a direct negative 

impact on civilian's access to water.\19\ HRW also reports that ``[t]he 

Houthis have weaponized water in

[[Page 56761]]

Taizz by blocking water in the two basins under their control from 

flowing into government-controlled Taizz city.'' \20\

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\17\ The Water Situation in Yemen, ICRC, June 5, 2022, available 

athttps://www.icrc.org/en/document/water-situation-yemen (last 

visited June 13, 2024).

\18\ Id.

\19\ Yemen: Warring Parties Deepen Water Crisis, Human Rights 

Watch, Dec. 11, 2023, available athttps://www.hrw.org/news/2023/12/11/yemen-warring-parties-deepen-water-crisis# (last visited June 13, 

2024).

\20\ Death is More Merciful Than This Life, Human Rights Watch, 

Dec. 11, 2023, available athttps://www.hrw.org/report/2023/12/11/death-more-merciful-life/houthi-and-yemeni-government-violations-right-water (last visited June 13, 2024).

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In 2023, UNHCR recorded approximately 77,000 Yemeni refugees and 

asylum-seekers in neighboring countries,\21\ and over 4.5 million IDPs 

within Yemen.\22\ The number of IDPs represents approximately 13 

percent of the population.\23\ In 2023, the United Nations 

International Children's Emergency Fund reported that ``among the 

19,943 newly registered displaced people, 88 percent were displaced due 

to conflict, while 12 percent were displaced by torrential rains and 

flooding.'' \24\ As of 2022, there were approximately 2 million IDPs 

that were children, which represented approximately half of the IDP 

population in Yemen at the time.\25\ As of 2024, the situation of IDPs 

had not improved.\26\

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\21\ Refugee Data Finder, The UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, 

available athttps://www.unhcr.org/refugee-statistics/download/?url=So83fZ (last visited June 13, 2024).

\22\ Yemen Humanitarian Needs Overview, OCHA, January 2024, p. 

15, available athttps://www.unocha.org/publications/report/yemen/yemen-humanitarian-needs-overview-2024-january-2024 (last visited 

June 13, 2024).

\23\ Yemen-Complex Emergency, Fact Sheet #4, FY 2023, USAID, 

Feb. 10, 2023, available athttps://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/2023-02/2023-02-10_USG_Yemen_Complex_Emergency_Fact_Sheet_4.pdf (last visited June 

13, 2024).

\24\ Humanitarian Situation Report No. 3, Dec. 11, 2023, UNICEF, 

  1. 6, available athttps://www.unicef.org/documents/yemen-humanitarian-situation-report-no-3-30-september-2023 (last visited 

June 13, 2024).

\25\ Migration and Displacement Country Profiles, Yemen, 2022, 

available athttps://data.unicef.org/resources/migration-and-displacement-country-profiles-mdcp/ (last visited June 13, 2024).

\26\ Yemen--Complex Emergency, Fact Sheet #5 FY 2024, USAID, 

Apr. 5, 2024, available athttps://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/yemen-complex-emergency-fact-sheet-5-fiscal-year-fy-2024 (last visited 

June 13, 2024).

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Economic Concerns

The World Bank reported that in Yemen, as of April 14, 2022, 

``[e]conomic conditions continue to deteriorate, and the acute 

humanitarian crisis persists.'' \27\ Official statistics about the 

status of Yemen's economy are no longer being produced making it 

difficult to obtain reliable economic information.\28\ Available data 

indicates an economy that continues to weaken.\29\ Yemen's economy was 

primarily an informal economy with remittances from abroad and foreign 

aid being the two primary sources of funding \30\ for essential 

commodities.\31\ As of early 2024, over 90 percent of the food in Yemen 

was imported,\32\ and the Russian invasion of Ukraine and associated 

sanctions are expected to negatively impact the importation of key 

commodities, like oil and food, to Yemen.\33\ Additionally, recent 

``disruptions in oil exports due to Houthi attacks on ports have caused 

the [Yemeni] Rial to drop.'' \34\

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\27\ Republic of Yemen, World Bank Economic Update, Apr. 14, 

2022, available athttps://thedocs.worldbank.org/en/doc/de816119d04a4e82a9c380bfd02dbc3a-0280012022/original/mpo-sm22-yemen-yem-kcm.pdf (last visited June 13, 2024).

\28\ Id.

\29\ Yemen Country Economic Memorandum: Glimmers of Hope in Dark 

Times, The World Bank, May 30, 2023, at xvi, available athttps://documents1.worldbank.org/curated/en/099050923091537357/pdf/P17826203eb7ac0030b5540af4456d0dd7c.pdf (last visited June 13, 

2024).

\30\ Id.

\31\ Yemen--Comple, Fact Sheet #6 FY 2024, USAID, May 7, 2024, 

  1. 4, available athttps://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/2024-05/2024-05-07_USG_Yemen_Complex_Emergency_Fact_Sheet_6.pdf (last 

visited June 13, 2024).

\32\ Yemen: Conflict, Maritime Attacks, and U.S. Policy, 

Congressional Research Services, Feb. 26, 2024, available athttps://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/IF/IF12581 (last visited June 

13, 2024).

\33\ Republic of Yemen, World Bank Economic Update, Apr. 14, 

2022, available athttps://thedocs.worldbank.org/en/doc/de816119d04a4e82a9c380bfd02dbc3a-0280012022/original/mpo-sm22-yemen-yem-kcm.pdf (last visited June 13, 2024).

\34\ Yemen Central Bank Acts to Stop Currency Collapse, Money 

Laundering, Asharq Al-Awsat News, Feb. 14, 2024, available at 

https://english.aawsat.com/arab-world/4853331-yemen-central-bank-acts-stop-currency-collapse-money-laundering (last visited June 13, 

2024).

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As of June 10, 2024, 255 F-1 nonimmigrant students from Yemen are 

enrolled at SEVP-certified academic institutions in the United States. 

Given the extent of the current crisis in Yemen, affected students 

whose primary means of financial support comes from Yemen may need to 

be exempt from the normal student employment requirements to continue 

their studies in the United States. The current crisis has made it 

unfeasible for many students to safely return to Yemen for the 

foreseeable future. Without employment authorization, these students 

may lack the means to meet basic living expenses.

What is the minimum course load requirement to maintain valid F-1 

nonimmigrant status under this notice?

Undergraduate F-1 nonimmigrant students who receive on-campus or 

off-campus employment authorization under this notice must remain 

registered for a minimum of six semester or quarter hours of 

instruction per academic term. Undergraduate F-1 nonimmigrant students 

enrolled in a term of different duration must register for at least one 

half of the credit hours normally required under a ``full course of 

study.'' See 8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)(i)(B) and (F). A graduate-level F-1 

nonimmigrant student who receives on-campus or off-campus employment 

authorization under this notice must remain registered for a minimum of 

three semester or quarter hours of instruction per academic term. See 8 

CFR 214.2(f)(5)(v). Nothing in this notice affects the applicability of 

other minimum course load requirements set by the academic institution.

In addition, an F-1 nonimmigrant student (either undergraduate or 

graduate) granted on-campus or off-campus employment authorization 

under this notice may count up to the equivalent of one class or three 

credits per session, term, semester, trimester, or quarter of online or 

distance education toward satisfying this minimum course load 

requirement, unless their course of study is in an English language 

study program. See 8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)(i)(G). An F-1 nonimmigrant student 

attending an approved private school in kindergarten through grade 12 

or public school in grades 9 through 12 must maintain ``class 

attendance for not less than the minimum number of hours a week 

prescribed by the school for normal progress toward graduation,'' as 

required under 8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)(i)(E). Nothing in this notice affects 

the applicability of federal and state labor laws limiting the 

employment of minors.

May an eligible F-1 nonimmigrant student who already has on-campus or 

off-campus employment authorization benefit from the suspension of 

regulatory requirements under this notice?

Yes. An F-1 nonimmigrant student who is a Yemeni citizen, 

regardless of country of birth (or an individual having no nationality 

who last habitually resided in Yemen), who already has on-campus or 

off-campus employment authorization and is otherwise eligible may 

benefit under this notice, which suspends certain regulatory 

requirements relating to the minimum course load requirement under 8 

CFR 214.2(f)(6)(i) and certain employment eligibility requirements 

under 8 CFR 214.2(f)(9). Such an eligible F-1 nonimmigrant student may 

benefit without having to apply for a new Form I-766, Employment 

Authorization Document (EAD). To benefit from this notice, the F-1 

nonimmigrant student must request that their designated school official 

(DSO) enter the following

[[Page 56762]]

statement in the remarks field of the student's Student and Exchange 

Visitor Information System (SEVIS) record, which the student's Form I-

20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status, 

will reflect:

Approved for more than 20 hours per week of [DSO must insert 

``on-campus'' or ``off-campus,'' depending upon the type of 

employment authorization the student already has] employment 

authorization and reduced course load under the Special Student 

Relief authorization from [DSO must insert the beginning date of the 

notice or the beginning date of the student's employment, whichever 

date is later] until [DSO must insert either the student's program 

end date, the current EAD expiration date (if the student is 

currently authorized for off-campus employment), or the end date of 

this notice, whichever date comes first].\35\

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\35\ Because the suspension of requirements under this notice 

applies throughout an academic term during which the suspension is 

in effect, DHS considers an F-1 nonimmigrant student who engages in 

a reduced course load or employment (or both) after this notice is 

effective to be engaging in a ``full course of study,'' see 8 CFR 

214.2(f)(6), and eligible for employment authorization, through the 

end of any academic term for which such student is matriculated as 

of March 3, 2026, provided the student satisfies the minimum course 

load requirements in this notice.

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Must the F-1 nonimmigrant student apply for reinstatement after 

expiration of this special employment authorization if the student 

reduces his or her ``full course of study''?

No. DHS will deem an F-1 nonimmigrant student who receives and 

comports with the employment authorization permitted under this notice 

to be engaged in a ``full course of study'' \36\ for the duration of 

the student's employment authorization, provided that a qualifying 

undergraduate level F-1 nonimmigrant student remains registered for a 

minimum of six semester or quarter hours of instruction per academic 

term, and a qualifying graduate level F-1 nonimmigrant student remains 

registered for a minimum of three semester or quarter hours of 

instruction per academic term. See 8 CFR 214.2(f)(5)(v) and 

(f)(6)(i)(F). Undergraduate F-1 nonimmigrant students enrolled in a 

term of different duration must register for at least one half of the 

credit hours normally required under a ``full course of study.'' See 8 

CFR 214.2(f)(6)(i)(B) and (F). DHS will not require such students to 

apply for reinstatement under 8 CFR 214.2(f)(16) if they are otherwise 

maintaining F-1 nonimmigrant status.

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\36\ See 8 CFR 214.2(f)(6).

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Will an F-2 dependent (spouse or minor child) of an F-1 nonimmigrant 

student covered by this notice be eligible for employment 

authorization?

No. An F-2 spouse or minor child of an F-1 nonimmigrant student is 

not authorized to work in the United States and, therefore, may not 

accept employment while in F-2 nonimmigrant status, consistent with 8 

CFR 214.2(f)(15)(i).

Will the suspension of the applicability of the standard student 

employment requirements apply to an individual who receives an initial 

F-1 visa and makes an initial entry into the United States after the 

effective date of this notice in the Federal Register?

No. The suspension of the applicability of the standard regulatory 

requirements only applies to certain F-1 nonimmigrant students who meet 

the following conditions:

(1) Are a citizen of Yemen regardless of country of birth (or an 

individual having no nationality who last habitually resided in Yemen);

(2) Were lawfully present in the United States on the date of 

publication of this notice in F-1 nonimmigrant status, under section 

101(a)(15)(F)(i) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(F)(i);

(3) Are enrolled in an academic institution that is SEVP-certified 

for enrollment of F-1 nonimmigrant students;

(4) Are maintaining F-1 nonimmigrant status; and

(5) Are experiencing severe economic hardship as a direct result of 

the current crisis in Yemen.

An F-1 nonimmigrant student who does not meet all these 

requirements is ineligible for the suspension of the applicability of 

the standard regulatory requirements (even if experiencing severe 

economic hardship as a direct result of the current crisis in Yemen).

Does this notice apply to a continuing F-1 nonimmigrant student who 

departs the United States after the effective date of this notice in 

the Federal Register and who needs to obtain a new F-1 visa before 

returning to the United States to continue an educational program?

Yes. This notice applies to such an F-1 nonimmigrant student, but 

only if the DSO has properly notated the student's SEVIS record, which 

will then appear on the student's Form I-20. The normal rules for visa 

issuance remain applicable to a nonimmigrant who needs to apply for a 

new F-1 visa to continue an educational program in the United States.

Does this notice apply to elementary school, middle school, and high 

school students in F-1 status?

Yes. However, this notice does not by itself reduce the required 

course load for F-1 nonimmigrant students from Yemen enrolled in 

kindergarten through grade 12 at a private school, or grades 9 through 

12 at a public high school. Such students must maintain the minimum 

number of hours of class attendance per week prescribed by the academic 

institution for normal progress toward graduation, as required under 8 

CFR 214.2(f)(6)(i)(E). The suspension of certain regulatory 

requirements related to employment through this notice is applicable to 

all eligible F-1 nonimmigrant students regardless of educational level. 

Eligible F-1 nonimmigrant students from Yemen enrolled in an elementary 

school, middle school, or high school may benefit from the suspension 

of the requirement in 8 CFR 214.2(f)(9)(i) that limits on-campus 

employment to 20 hours per week while school is in session.

On-Campus Employment Authorization

Will an F-1 nonimmigrant student who receives on-campus employment 

authorization under this notice be authorized to work more than 20 

hours per week while school is in session?

Yes. For an F-1 nonimmigrant student covered in this notice, the 

Secretary is suspending the applicability of the requirement in 8 CFR 

214.2(f)(9)(i) that limits an F-1 nonimmigrant student's on-campus 

employment to 20 hours per week while school is in session. An eligible 

F-1 nonimmigrant student has authorization to work more than 20 hours 

per week while school is in session if the DSO has entered the 

following statement in the remarks field of the student's SEVIS record, 

which will be reflected on the student's Form I-20:

Approved for more than 20 hours per week of on-campus employment 

and reduced course load, under the Special Student Relief 

authorization from [DSO must insert the beginning date of this 

notice or the beginning date of the student's employment, whichever 

date is later] until [DSO must insert the student's program end date 

or the end date of this notice, whichever date comes first].\37\

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\37\ Because the suspension of requirements under this notice 

applies throughout an academic term during which the suspension is 

in effect, DHS considers an F-1 nonimmigrant student who engages in 

a reduced course load or employment (or both) after this notice is 

effective to be engaging in a ``full course of study,'' see 8 CFR 

214.2(f)(6), and eligible for employment authorization, through the 

end of any academic term for which such student is matriculated as 

of March 3, 2026, provided the student satisfies the minimum course 

load requirements in this notice.



[[Page 56763]]



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To obtain on-campus employment authorization, the F-1 nonimmigrant 

student must demonstrate to the DSO that the employment is necessary to 

avoid severe economic hardship directly resulting from the current 

crisis in Yemen. An F-1 nonimmigrant student authorized by the DSO to 

engage in on-campus employment by means of this notice does not need to 

file any applications with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services 

(USCIS). The standard rules permitting full-time on-campus employment 

when school is not in session or during school vacations apply, as 

described in 8 CFR 214.2(f)(9)(i).

Will an F-1 nonimmigrant student who receives on-campus employment 

authorization under this notice have authorization to reduce the normal 

course load and still maintain his or her F-1 nonimmigrant student 

status?

Yes. DHS will deem an F-1 nonimmigrant student who receives on-

campus employment authorization under this notice to be engaged in a 

``full course of study'' \38\ for the purpose of maintaining their F-1 

nonimmigrant student status for the duration of the on-campus 

employment, if the student satisfies the minimum course load 

requirement described in this notice, consistent with 8 CFR 

214.2(f)(6)(i)(F). However, the authorization to reduce the normal 

course load is solely for DHS purposes of determining valid F-1 

nonimmigrant student status. Nothing in this notice mandates that 

school officials allow an F-1 nonimmigrant student to take a reduced 

course load if the reduction would not meet the academic institution's 

minimum course load requirement for continued enrollment.\39\

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\38\ See 8 CFR 214.2(f)(6).

\39\ Minimum course load requirement for enrollment in a school 

must be established in a publicly available document (e.g., catalog, 

website, or operating procedure), and it must be a standard 

applicable to all students (U.S. citizens and foreign students) 

enrolled at the school.

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Off-Campus Employment Authorization

What regulatory requirements does this notice temporarily suspend 

relating to off-campus employment?

For an F-1 nonimmigrant student covered by this notice, as provided 

under 8 CFR 214.2(f)(9)(ii)(A), the Secretary is suspending the 

following regulatory requirements relating to off-campus employment:

(a) The requirement that a student must have been in F-1 

nonimmigrant student status for one full academic year to be eligible 

for off-campus employment;

(b) The requirement that an F-1 nonimmigrant student must 

demonstrate that acceptance of employment will not interfere with the 

student's carrying a full course of study;

(c) The requirement that limits an F-1 nonimmigrant student's 

employment authorization to no more than 20 hours per week of off-

campus employment while the school is in session; and

(d) The requirement that the student demonstrate that employment 

under 8 CFR 214.2(f)(9)(i) is unavailable or otherwise insufficient to 

meet the needs that have arisen as a result of the unforeseen 

circumstances.

Will an F-1 nonimmigrant student who receives off-campus employment 

authorization under this notice have authorization to reduce the normal 

course load and still maintain F-1 nonimmigrant status?

Yes. DHS will deem an F-1 nonimmigrant student who receives off-

campus employment authorization by means of this notice to be engaged 

in a ``full course of study'' \40\ for the purpose of maintaining F-1 

nonimmigrant student status for the duration of the student's 

employment authorization if the student satisfies the minimum course 

load requirement described in this notice, consistent with 8 CFR 

214.2(f)(6)(i)(F). The authorization for a reduced course load is 

solely for DHS purposes of determining valid F-1 nonimmigrant student 

status. Nothing in this notice mandates that school officials allow an 

F-1 nonimmigrant student to take a reduced course load if such reduced 

course load would not meet the school's minimum course load 

requirement.\41\

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\40\ See 8 CFR 214.2(f)(6).

\41\ Minimum course load requirement for enrollment in a school 

must be established in a publicly available document (e.g., catalog, 

website, or operating procedure), and it must be a standard 

applicable to all students (U.S. citizens and foreign students) 

enrolled at the school.

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How may an eligible F-1 nonimmigrant student obtain employment 

authorization for off-campus employment with a reduced course load 

under this notice?

An F-1 nonimmigrant student must file a Form I-765, Application for 

Employment Authorization, with USCIS to apply for off-campus employment 

authorization based on severe economic hardship directly resulting from 

the current crisis in Yemen.\42\ Filing instructions are located at 

https://www.uscis.gov/i-765.

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\42\ See 8 CFR 274a.12(c)(3)(iii).

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Fee considerations. Submission of a Form I-765 currently requires 

payment of a $520 fee. An applicant who is unable to pay the fee may 

submit a completed Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, along with the 

Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. Seehttps://www.uscis.gov/i-912. The submission must include an explanation about 

why USCIS should grant the fee waiver and the reason(s) for the 

inability to pay, and any evidence to support the reason(s). See 8 CFR 

106.2 and 106.3.

Supporting documentation. An F-1 nonimmigrant student seeking off-

campus employment authorization due to severe economic hardship must 

demonstrate the following to their DSO:

(1) This employment is necessary to avoid severe economic hardship; 

and

(2) The hardship is a direct result of the current crisis in Yemen.

If the DSO agrees that the F-1 nonimmigrant student is entitled to 

receive such employment authorization, the DSO must recommend 

application approval to USCIS by entering the following statement in 

the remarks field of the student's SEVIS record, which will then appear 

on that student's Form I-20:

Recommended for off-campus employment authorization in excess of 

20 hours per week and reduced course load under the Special Student 

Relief authorization from the date of the USCIS authorization noted 

on Form I-766 until [DSO must insert the program end date or the end 

date of this notice, whichever date comes first].\43\

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\43\ Because the suspension of requirements under this notice 

applies throughout an academic term during which the suspension is 

in effect, DHS considers an F-1 nonimmigrant student who engages in 

a reduced course load or employment (or both) after this notice is 

effective to be engaging in a ``full course of study,'' see 8 CFR 

214.2(f)(6), and eligible for employment authorization, through the 

end of any academic term for which such student is matriculated as 

of March 3, 2026, provided the student satisfies the minimum course 

load requirements in this notice.

The F-1 nonimmigrant student must then file the properly endorsed 

Form I-20 and Form I-765 according to the instructions for the Form I-

  1. The F-1 nonimmigrant student may begin working off campus only 

upon receipt of the EAD from USCIS.

DSO recommendation. In making a recommendation that an F-1 

nonimmigrant student be approved for Special Student Relief, the DSO 

certifies that:

(a) The F-1 nonimmigrant student is in good academic standing and 

is carrying a ``full course of study'' \44\ at the

[[Page 56764]]

time of the request for employment authorization;

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\44\ See 8 CFR 214.2(f)(6).

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(b) The F-1 nonimmigrant student is a citizen of Yemen, regardless 

of country of birth (or an individual having no nationality who last 

habitually resided in Yemen), and is experiencing severe economic 

hardship as a direct result of the current crisis in Yemen, as 

documented on the Form I-20;

(c) The F-1 nonimmigrant student has confirmed that the student 

will comply with the reduced course load requirements of this notice 

and register for the duration of the authorized employment for a 

minimum of six semester or quarter hours of instruction per academic 

term if at the undergraduate level, or for a minimum of three semester 

or quarter hours of instruction per academic term if the student is at 

the graduate level; \45\ and

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\45\ 8 CFR 214.2(f)(5)(v).

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(d) The off-campus employment is necessary to alleviate severe 

economic hardship to the individual as a direct result of the current 

crisis in Yemen.

Processing. To facilitate prompt adjudication of the student's 

application for off-campus employment authorization under 8 CFR 

214.2(f)(9)(ii)(C), the F-1 nonimmigrant student should do both of the 

following:

(a) Ensure that the application package includes the following 

documents:

(1) A completed Form I-765 with all applicable supporting evidence;

(2) The required fee or properly documented fee waiver request as 

defined in 8 CFR 106.2 and 106.3; and

(3) A signed and dated copy of the student's Form I-20 with the 

appropriate DSO recommendation, as previously described in this notice; 

and

(b) 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.'' \46\ Failure to include this notation may 

result in significant processing delays.

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\46\ Guidance for direct filing addresses can be found here: 

https://www.uscis.gov/i-765-addresses.

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If USCIS approves the student's Form I-765, USCIS will send the 

student a Form I-766 EAD as evidence of employment authorization. The 

EAD will contain an expiration date that does not exceed the end of the 

granted temporary relief.

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Considerations

Can an F-1 nonimmigrant student apply for TPS and for benefits under 

this notice at the same time?

Yes. An F-1 nonimmigrant student who has not yet applied for TPS or 

for other relief that reduces the student's course load per term and 

permits an increased number of work hours per week, such as Special 

Student Relief,\47\ under this notice has two options.

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\47\ See DHS Study in the States, Special Student Relief, 

available athttps://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/students/special-student-relief (last visited Feb. 28, 2024).

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Under the first option, the F-1 nonimmigrant student may apply for 

TPS according to the instructions in the USCIS notice designating Yemen 

for TPS elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register. All TPS 

applicants must file a Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected 

Status, with the appropriate fee (or request a fee waiver). Although 

not required to do so, if F-1 nonimmigrant students want to obtain a 

new TPS-related EAD that is valid through March 3, 2026, and to be 

eligible for automatic EAD extensions that may be available to certain 

EADs with an A-12 or C-19 category code, they must file Form I-765 and 

pay the Form I-765 fee (or request a fee waiver). After receiving the 

TPS-related EAD, an F-1 nonimmigrant student may request that their DSO 

make the required entry in SEVIS and issue an updated Form I-20, which 

notates that the nonimmigrant student has been authorized to carry a 

reduced course load, as described in this notice. As long as the F-1 

nonimmigrant student maintains the minimum course load described in 

this notice, does not otherwise violate their nonimmigrant status, 

including as provided under 8 CFR 214.1(g), and maintains TPS, then the 

student maintains F-1 status and TPS concurrently.

Under the second option, the F-1 nonimmigrant student may apply for 

an EAD under Special Student Relief by filing Form I-765 with the 

location specified in the filing instructions. At the same time, the F-

1 nonimmigrant student may file a separate TPS application but must 

submit the Form I-821 according to the instructions provided in the 

Federal Register notice designating Yemen for TPS. If the F-1 

nonimmigrant student has already applied for employment authorization 

under Special Student Relief, they are not required to submit the Form 

I-765 as part of the TPS application. However, some nonimmigrant 

students may wish to obtain a TPS-related EAD in light of certain 

extensions that may be available to EADs with an A-12 or C-19 category 

code that are not available to the C-3 category under which Special 

Student Relief falls. The F-1 nonimmigrant student should check the 

appropriate box when filling out Form I-821 to indicate whether a TPS-

related EAD is being requested. Again, as long as the F-1 nonimmigrant 

student maintains the minimum course load described in this notice and 

does not otherwise violate the student's nonimmigrant status, included 

as provided under 8 CFR 214.1(g), the nonimmigrant will be able to 

maintain compliance requirements for F-1 nonimmigrant student status 

while having TPS.

When a student applies simultaneously for TPS and benefits under this 

notice, what is the minimum course load requirement while an 

application for employment authorization is pending?

The F-1 nonimmigrant student must maintain normal course load 

requirements for a ``full course of study'' \48\ unless or until the 

nonimmigrant student receives employment authorization under this 

notice. TPS-related employment authorization, by itself, does not 

authorize a nonimmigrant student to drop below twelve credit hours, or 

otherwise applicable minimum requirements (e.g., clock hours for non-

traditional academic programs). Once approved for a TPS-related EAD and 

Special Student Relief employment authorization, as indicated by the 

DSO's required entry in SEVIS and issuance of an updated Form I-20, the 

F-1 nonimmigrant student may drop below twelve credit hours, or 

otherwise applicable minimum requirements (with a minimum of six 

semester or quarter hours of instruction per academic term if at the 

undergraduate level, or for a minimum of three semester or quarter 

hours of instruction per academic term if at the graduate level). See 8 

CFR 214.2(f)(5)(v), (f)(6), and (f)(9)(i) and (ii).

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\48\ See 8 CFR 214.2(f)(6).

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How does a student who has received a TPS-related EAD then apply for 

authorization to take a reduced course load under this notice?

There is no further application process with USCIS if a student has 

been approved for a TPS-related EAD. The F-1 nonimmigrant student must 

demonstrate and provide documentation to the DSO of the direct economic 

hardship resulting from the current crisis in Yemen. The DSO will then 

verify and update the student's record in SEVIS to enable the F-1

[[Page 56765]]

nonimmigrant student with TPS to reduce the course load without any 

further action or application. No other EAD needs to be issued for the 

F-1 nonimmigrant student to have employment authorization.

Can a noncitizen who has been granted TPS apply for reinstatement of F-

1 nonimmigrant student status after the noncitizen's F-1 nonimmigrant 

student status has lapsed?

Yes. Regulations permit certain students who fall out of F-1 

nonimmigrant student status to apply for reinstatement. See 8 CFR 

214.2(f)(16). This provision may apply to students who worked on a TPS-

related EAD or dropped their course load before publication of this 

notice, and therefore fell out of student status. These students must 

satisfy the criteria set forth in the F-1 nonimmigrant student status 

reinstatement regulations.

How long will this notice remain in effect?

This notice grants temporary relief until March 3, 2026,\49\ to 

eligible F-1 nonimmigrant students. DHS will continue to monitor the 

situation in Yemen. Should the special provisions authorized by this 

notice need modification or extension, DHS will announce such changes 

in the Federal Register.

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\49\ Because the suspension of requirements under this notice 

applies throughout an academic term during which the suspension is 

in effect, DHS considers an F-1 nonimmigrant student who engages in 

a reduced course load or employment (or both) after this notice is 

effective to be engaging in a ``full course of study,'' see 8 CFR 

214.2(f)(6), and eligible for employment authorization, through the 

end of any academic term for which such student is matriculated as 

of March 3, 2026, provided the student satisfies the minimum course 

load requirements in this notice.

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Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

An F-1 nonimmigrant student seeking off-campus employment 

authorization due to severe economic hardship resulting from the 

current crisis in Yemen must demonstrate to the DSO that this 

employment is necessary to avoid severe economic hardship. A DSO who 

agrees that a nonimmigrant student should receive such employment 

authorization must recommend an application approval to USCIS by 

entering information in the remarks field of the student's SEVIS 

record. The authority to collect this information is in the SEVIS 

collection of information currently approved by the Office of 

Management and Budget (OMB) under OMB Control Number 1653-0038.

This notice also allows an eligible F-1 nonimmigrant student to 

request employment authorization, work an increased number of hours 

while the academic institution is in session, and reduce their course 

load while continuing to maintain F-1 nonimmigrant student status.

To apply for employment authorization, certain F-1 nonimmigrant 

students must complete and submit a currently approved Form I-765 

according to the instructions on the form. OMB has previously approved 

the collection of information contained on the current Form I-765, 

consistent with the PRA (OMB Control Number 1615-0040). Although there 

will be a slight increase in the number of Form I-765 filings because 

of this notice, the number of filings currently contained in the OMB 

annual inventory for Form I-765 is sufficient to cover the additional 

filings. Accordingly, there is no further action required under the 

PRA.

Alejandro Mayorkas,

Secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

[FR Doc. 2024-15082 Filed 7-8-24; 11:15 am]

BILLING CODE 9111-97-P