Off-Campus Employment due to Severe Economic Hardship

  • An eligible F–1 student may request off-campus employment authorization due to severe economic hardship caused by unforeseen circumstances beyond the student's control. These circumstances may include loss of financial aid or on-campus employment without fault on the part of the student; substantial fluctuations in the value of 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; or other substantial and unexpected expenses.

The student must request a recommendation from the Designated School Official (DSO) for off-campus employment. The DSO may recommend the student for off-campus work by certifying that:

  1. The student has been in F–1 status for one full academic year
  2. The student is in good standing as a student and is carrying a full course of study.
  3. The student has demonstrated that acceptance of employment will not interfere with the student's carrying a full course of study.
  4. The student has demonstrated that the employment is necessary to avoid severe economic hardship due to unforeseen circumstances beyond the student's control and has demonstrated that on-campus employment is unavailable or otherwise insufficient to meet the needs that have arisen as a result of the unforeseen circumstances.

The application for employment authorization must be filed on Form I–765, with the required fee, to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If the application is denied, no appeal may be filed. The employment authorization may be granted in one-year intervals up to the expected date of completion of the student's current course of study. The employment authorization is automatically terminated whenever the student fails to maintain status.

For more information:

United States Code of Federal Regulations, Title 8, Sec. 214.2(f)(p)(ii)