Presidents’ Alliance Applauds Announcement of Temporary Protected Status and Special Student Relief for Cameroon

Relief for F-1 Students experiencing economic hardship due to crises in Cameroon

June 7, 2022
CONTACT: Jose Magaña-Salgado (

Washington, D.C.— The Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration applauds the Biden administration and Secretary Mayorkas for the decision to provide Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Special Student Relief (SSR) for Cameroonian students, as their country faces armed conflict and extraordinary conditions that make safe return impossible. Pairing TPS and SSR provides additional flexibility for these individuals, allowing them to continue their education and work and live in the United States. We urge the administration to continue to use TPS and SSR together to provide protection for individuals whose home countries are in crisis. 

Secretary Mayorkas’ decision to suspend certain regulatory requirements for the F-1 nonimmigrant students from Cameroon means that students experiencing severe hardship as a direct result of the crises in Cameroon can request employment authorization to work off-campus, be exempt from the regular student employment requirements, and reduce their course loads if needed. This flexibility that comes with SSR is much-welcomed news. As of April 2022, there were approximately 1,020 F-1 students from Cameroon. The notice for SSR was published in conjunction with the official publication of TPS Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Cameroon, opening applications for the program after its initial announcement in April. 

Jill Welch, Senior Policy Advisor to the Presidents’ Alliance, stated: “Today’s TPS and SSR announcements for Cameroon represent a tremendously positive development for our Cameroonian students. We are pleased to see the Biden administration continue to couple SSR with TPS, rather than allowing months to go by in between the two types of relief. Much like other students whose countries of origin are experiencing crises, these students need to be allowed the flexibility to drop below course load without losing student status and to work off-campus to help mitigate enormous financial strain. SSR allows them to do just this.”


The nonpartisan, nonprofit Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration brings college and university presidents and chancellors together on the immigration issues that impact higher education, our students, campuses, communities, and nation. We work to advance just, forward-looking immigration policies and practices at the federal, state, and campus levels that are consistent with our heritage as a nation of immigrants and the academic values of equity and openness. The Alliance is composed of over 500 presidents and chancellors of public and private colleges and universities, enrolling over five million students in 43 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico.