Economic Hardship Employment
There are few options for students wishing to work off-campus legally. Authorized CPT, authorized OPT, authorized employment with an International Organization, and employment based on severe economic hardship.
U.S. Immigration regulations stipulate:
"If other employment opportunities are not available or are otherwise insufficient, an eligible F-1 student may request off-campus employment work authorization based upon severe economic hardship caused by unforeseen circumstances beyond the student's control" [8 CFR 214.2 (f)(9)(ii)(C)].
Eligibility for Severe Economic Hardship Employment Authorization
To be eligible for off-campus employment authorization based upon severe economic hardship, F-1 students have to meet the following conditions:
- Must have been in F-1 status for one full academic year.
- Must be in good academic standing and registered full-time. Students should be prepared to show that employment will not interfere with their studies.
- Must be able to explain why other employment opportunities on campus are either unavailable or insufficient to meet their needs.
- Must prove to USCIS that employment is necessary due to severe economic hardship caused by circumstances beyond his or her control that arose after obtaining F-1 status. Examples of unforeseen economic hardship include:
- Loss of financial aid or on-campus employment without fault on the part of the student
- Substantial fluctuations in the value of the currency or exchange rate
- Inordinate increases in tuition and/or living costs
- Unexpected changes in the financial condition of the student's source of support
- Medical bills
- Other substantial and unexpected expenses
Severe Economic Hardship can be difficult to prove. Please contact the International Student Advisor for further information and application procedures.
Office for International Student Services
International Student Advisor (PDSO)
Office Location: Kennedy Center, 1st floor