Severe Economic Hardship

The USCIS may authorize off-campus employment in the case of severe economic hardship caused by situations that are unforeseen and beyond your control. It may include loss of financial aid, a significant devaluation of your home currency, or unexpected changes in the financial condition of your main sources of support, or the death of your financial sponsor (8C.F.R$ 214.2(f) (9) (ii) (c)).


  • Have been in F-1 for one full academic year, be in good academic and legal standing, and carry a full course of study
  • Demonstrate that employment is necessary in order to avoid unforeseen economic hardship and that on-campus employment opportunities are not available or insufficient
  • Establish that the employment will not interfere with full-time study 


  • Off-campus employment but no specific prohibition on on-campus


  • Granted by USCIS in increments of one year at a time, or until the program end-date, whichever is shorter
  • Authorization ends if a student transfers schools

Hours per 

  • Limited to 20 hours/week while school is in session
  • Can be full-time during official school breaks

of Work

  • Can be in any job, not necessarily related to program of study

Offer of 

  • Not required

Effect on 
Other Work

  • None


  • Must apply for EAD
  • May begin employment after receiving EAD (bring ISO a copy)

What to 

  • Proof of unforeseen hardship
  • Unavailability or insufficiency of on-campus employment
  • Two passport photos
  • Form I-765
  • Application fee of $410
  • New SEVIS I-20 with a DSO's recommendation for employment
  • Copy pf I-94, passport ID page
  • Submit to the USCIS Service Center with jurisdiction

International Student Office