International Student Services

Special Student Relief

“Special Student Relief (SSR) is a suspension of certain regulatory requirements by the secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for an F-1 student from parts of the world that are experiencing emergent circumstances.” – Study in the States

Eligibility for SSR | Current Countries with Special Student Relief | Filing Application for SSR

SSR may be authorized for students whose home countries are impacted by natural disasters, wars and military conflicts, and national and international financial crises. SSR becomes possible when DHS issues a Federal Register Notice.

Eligibility for SSR

  • Student must be a citizen of a country specified in a Federal Register Notice.
  • Have lawfully resided in the U.S. for the dates indicated in the Federal Register Notice.
  • Have reported “on time” to ISS and maintained full-time enrollment at University of Washington.
  • Are currently maintaining F-1 status as students, not on post-completion practical training.
  • Are experiencing severe economic hardship as a direct result of the emergent circumstances in their country of citizenship.

Current Countries with Special Student Relief Opportunities

      • Afghanistan
        • Effective May 20, 2022 through November 20, 2023.
        • Student must have been in F-1 status on May 20, 2022.
      • Burma/Myanmar
        • Effective September 27, 2022 through May 25, 2024.
        • Student must have been in F-1 status on September 27, 2022.
      • Cameroon
        • Effective June 7, 2022 through December 7, 2023.  
        • Student must have been in F-1 status on June 7, 2022.  
      • Haiti
        • Effective August 3, 2021 through February 3, 2023.
        • Student must have been in F-1 status on August 3, 2021.
      • Hong Kong
        • Effective November 26, 2021 through February 3, 2023.
        • Student must have been in F-1 status on November 26, 2021.
      • Somalia
        • Effective September 18, 2021 through March 17, 2023.
        • Student must have been in F-1 status on September 18, 2021.
      • South Sudan
        • Effective March 3, 2022 through November 3, 2023.
        • Student must have been in F-1 status on March 3, 2022.
      • Sudan
        • Effective April 19, 2022 through October 19, 2023.
        • Student must have been in F-1 status on April 19, 2021.
      • Syria
        • Effective August 1, 2022 through April 1, 2024.
        • Student must have been in F-1 status on August 1, 2022.
      • Ukraine
        • Effective April 19, 2022 through October 19, 2023.  
        • Student must have been in F-1 status on April 19, 2022.  
      • Venezuela
        • Effective September 10, 2022 through March 10, 2024.
        • Student must have been in F-1 status on September 10, 2022.
      • Yemen
        • Effective September 4, 2021 until March 3, 2023.
        • Student must have been in F-1 status on September 4, 2021.

Filing Application for SSR

Students wishing to apply for Special Student Relief must file an application with USCIS. In order to do so, students should follow the steps below:

Step 1:

Request an I-20 from ISS. The request for Special Student Relief is available for students in MyISSS. In the request form, we ask for you to provide information about your circumstances for you to include in your application to USCIS. We will review it and provide feedback to you.

Step 2:

Gather your materials. In your application, you must include the following documentation for USCIS.

  • I-20 with Special Student Relief recommendation.
  • Copy of passport photo page
  • Copy of U.S. visa from passport
  • Copy of most recent I-94 record
  • Two photos
  • Payment for USCIS ($410) or the Form I-912 requesting the fee waiver

Step 3:

Submit your I-765 application to USCIS.

Step 4:

Wait for your authorization from USCIS. Once you receive your authorization, you may begin to work.