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International Student Services


F-1 Economic Hardship

Defintion of Severe, Unforseen Economic Hardship

Circumstances beyond your control that arose after obtaining F-1 status have led to the necessity to find off-campus work. 

Preconditions for an Economic Hardship Application

  • Must have been in F-1 status for at least one full academic year
  • Must be in good academic standing
  • Must prove that employment is necessary due to severe economic hardship caused by circumstances beyond your control that arose after obtaining F-1 status
  • Must demonstrate that on-campus employment is not available or insufficient
  • Must demonstrate that acceptance of employment will not interfere with your full course of study

How Much Can I Work with an Approved Economic Hardship Work Authorization?

Employment authorization is granted in one year increments, or until the program end date, whichever is shorter. You are limited to 20 hours/week of employment while school is in session. You can work full-time during official school breaks.

Where Can I Work with an Approved Economic Hardship Work Authorization?

You can work in any job with an approved authorization. Your work does not have to be in your field of study.

How Do I Apply for Economic Hardship Work Authorization?

You must first meet with an international student advisor to determine your eligibility to apply. Then, you will submit an application to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. The application must include:

  1. Form I-765 [pdf]
  2. Proof of your severe and unforseen economic need. This includes a personal statement, bank statements, proof of currency devaluation, proof of emergent need, etc.
  3. Explanation as to why other on-campus employment options are unavailable or insufficient
  4. A check to U.S. Department of Homeland Security for $410 or a Form I-912 Fee Waiver Request [pdf]
  5. Two new passport photos
  6. Copies of your passport, visa, and I-94
  7. A new I-20 with off-campus work request information, obtained from ISS