USCIS recently issued clarifying guidance for individuals authorized to work under the Special Student Relief (SSR) provisions. SSR is a provision that allows certain nonimmigrant students who have experienced a significant event, such as a natural disaster or armed conflict in their home country, to work in the United States. These students may be unable to return home due to the circumstances in their home country and may be experiencing severe economic hardship.

The recent guidance from USCIS clarifies that SSR employment authorization is available to eligible students who are enrolled in any school, not just those designated by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). This means that eligible students may work at any job, including internships or other off-campus employment, as long as the employment is directly related to their field of study.

In addition, eligible students may apply for an extension of their SSR employment authorization if they continue to meet the eligibility criteria. Students may apply for an extension up to six months before their current authorization expires, and they may continue to work while their extension application is pending.