[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 97 (Thursday, May 19, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 28997-28998]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-12430]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

[DHS Docket No. ICEB-2011-0003]
RIN 1653-ZA01


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 hardship as a direct result of the January 12, 2010 
earthquake in Haiti. This notice extends the effective date of that 
notice.

DATES: This notice is effective July 22, 2011 and will remain in effect 
until January 22, 2013.

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; (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 her 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 
January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti. See 75 FR 56120. The previous 
notice was effective from September 15, 2010 until July 22, 2011. 
Effective with this publication, suspension of the requirements is 
extended 18 months, from July 22, 2011 until January 22, 2013.
    F-1 students granted employment authorization through that notice 
were deemed to be engaged in a ``full course of study'' for the 
duration of their employment authorization, provided they satisfied the 
minimum course load requirement described in 75 FR 56120. See 8 CFR 
214.2(f)(6)(i)(F).

Who is covered under this action?

    This notice applies exclusively to F-1 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. 
101(a)(15)(F)(i), and (1) Are enrolled in an institution that is 
Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified for enrollment of 
F-1 students, (2) are currently maintaining F-1 status, and (3) are 
experiencing severe economic hardship as a direct result of the January 
12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti.
    This notice applies both to 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 75 FR 
56121 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 students whose country of citizenship is Haiti 
and experienced severe economic hardship as a result of the January 12, 
2010 earthquake. See 75 FR 56120. It 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. DHS also took action 
to extend Temporary Protected Status to Haiti in response to the 
January 12, 2010 earthquake. See 75 FR 3476.
    Haiti has limited resources to cope with a natural disaster like 
this earthquake, which was the strongest one to strike the island 
nation in 200 years. The country's critical infrastructure was severely 
damaged, and many government offices, schools, businesses, and 
hospitals were completely destroyed. Haiti continues to deal with the 
aftermath of the earthquake.
    As Haiti continues to rebuild its infrastructure and economy, this 
difficult period has affected students from Haiti studying in the 
United States. Many of these students depend on money from relatives in 
Haiti who are

[[Page 28998]]

themselves continuing to recover from the earthquake.
    The U.S. is committed to continuing to assist the people of Haiti. 
DHS is therefore extending this employment authorization for F-1 
Haitian nonimmigrant students that 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 Haitian students who were lawfully present in the U.S. on 
January 12, 2010 and are experiencing severe economic hardship as a 
result of the earthquake may apply for employment authorization under 
the guidelines described in 75 FR 56120. This notice extends the time 
period during which F-1 Haitian 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.

Janet Napolitano,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2011-12430 Filed 5-18-11; 8:45 am]
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