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This article was prepared with the assistance of ABIL, the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers, of which Loan Huynh, Fredrikson Immigration Department Chair, is a member.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has suspended certain regulatory requirements for F-1 nonimmigrant students whose country of citizenship is Venezuela or Syria.

DHS said it took this action for Venezuelan students who are experiencing severe economic hardship as a direct result of the current humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, and for Syrian students who are experiencing severe economic hardship as a direct result of the civil unrest in Syria since March 2011.

DHS said that affected Venezuelan and Syrian lawful F-1 nonimmigrant students may request employment authorization, work an increased number of hours while school is in session, and reduce their course loads while continuing to maintain F-1 status.

DHS will deem an F-1 nonimmigrant student who receives employment authorization by means of the 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 requirement as described in the notices, which will remain effective for Venezuelan students until September 9, 2022, and for Syrian students until September 30, 2022.

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