TPS Designation for Burma (Myanmar), Additional Benefits for Burmese F-1 Students14 Jun 2021
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has designated Burma (Myanmar) for temporary protected status (TPS) and provided flexibility for employment authorization to Burmese F-1 students based on severe economic hardship. These accommodations are due to the ongoing political crisis in Burma.
The Burma designation for TPS is valid for 18 months, from May 25, 2021 to November 25, 2022. To qualify, Burmese nationals must have had continuous residence in the United States since March 11, 2021, and have been continuously physically present in the U.S. since May 25, 2021.
Background on Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
TPS allows nationals of designated countries to remain in the United States for a specified period of time, due to conditions in their respective home countries that would prevent a safe return. The types of conditions that can give rise to a TPS designation include: armed conflicts, environmental disasters, epidemics, earthquakes, and other extraordinary, temporary conditions. Individuals who are granted TPS are protected against removal (deportation) from the U.S., and are eligible to apply for work and travel authorization. The TPS period is temporary and does not lead to a permanent immigration status.
Suspension of Employment Authorization Requirements for Students
Many F-1 students from Burma have experienced severe hardship due to the current crisis in their country. To help them cover tuition, fees, and living expenses, the DHS has temporarily relaxed certain requirements regarding on-campus and off-campus employment. This relief allows eligible students to work an increased number of hours with reduced coursework while school is in session, but still keep the full course of study designation. To work on campus, the students do not need to apply for an employment authorization document (EAD) from the USCIS, but simply need authorization from the designated school official (DSO). However, if the intended employment is located off campus, an application for employment authorization, with the required filing fee, must be submitted to the USCIS.
To qualify, an F-1 student must be from Burma, be in lawful status from May 25, 2021, to the present time, be enrolled in an SEVP-certified academic institution, and be able to demonstrate economic hardship due to the political crisis in Burma.
The DHS announcement grants TPS eligibility to certain citizens and nationals of Burma, including eligible F-1 students who are able to obtain employment authorization based on economic hardship suffered as a result of the national crisis in Burma. By obtaining employment authorization and working an increased number of hours with reduced course load, such students will be better able to support themselves and complete their academic programs in the U.S.
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