U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has announced special temporary relief until December 31, 2011, for certain F-1 Libyan students who have suffered severe economic hardship as a direct result of the civil unrest in Libya since February 2011.
ICE has published a notice in the Federal Register suspending certain regulatory requirements to allow eligible Libyan F-1 students to obtain employment authorization, work an increased number of hours during the school term, and, if necessary, reduce their course load while continuing to maintain their F-1 student status.
Approximately 2,000 F-1 students from Libya are enrolled in schools in the U.S. This relief applies only to students who were lawfully present in the U.S. in F-1 status as of February 1, 2011, and enrolled in an institution certified by ICE’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). The 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, as discussed in the notice.