Frequently Asked Questions

SSR and Work Permits

Dear Student:

The Employment opportunity you are referring to is found at this website You may also wish to read this site:

The request you are making is for a benefit that does not exist at this point. In some instances Special Student Relief (SSR) permitted students to enroll part-time, apply for a work permit, and request a fee waiver­­­­ to apply for the I-765. In today’s COVID-19 environment with about one million international students in the U.S. and the fact USCIS cannot process benefits in a timely manner before this crisis, I doubt this plan will be rolled out as it was in the past. If a SSR is rolled out it will likely be adjudicated by the Universities. CU notify all students eligible for this benefit and how to process the request if this is approved by the Department of Homeland Security.

Please keep checking the sites I shared with you and CU’s LEC - International Student Services site.

Another options exists for students which is called Severe Economic Hardship. This benefit is for students who have completed at least an academic year of study at CU (which is eight months) and have had unforeseen economic hardship. Examples would be death of a sponsor, or devaluation of currency, etc. If you have started your program and eight months have not passed you are not eligible. The eligibility requirements are extensive. Please keep this in mind before you ask to apply. Further this work permit is restricted to 20 hours per week, will take at minimum 90 days, may require a $410 fee, and you are not guaranteed to get the work authorization. Also you will never get to use this work authorization for more than 20 hours per week since you must maintain your enrollment and there are not any authorized vacations in these masters programs which would allow full-time enrollment.

Finally, you may have work authorization through CPT. Therefore, if you do, there is no benefit in applying either work permit outside your current benefit. Other than you are not limited to your field of study.

Please let me know if you have additional questions and send links to sites which offer work permits so we can quickly assess and get you a rapid response regarding them. Please be aware only DHS will authorize this do not be fooled by anyone assuring they can get you a work permit. CU will guide you if you have questions.

Stay well!

Peter Thomas

Director, International Affairs

Principal Designated School Official


2300 Greene Way

Louisville, KY 40220

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