Applying for Severe Economic Hardship
Students on F-1 visas may work off-campus under a "severe economic hardship: exemption." This is defined as a situation that is unforeseen and beyond the student's control. Examples are loss of financial aid or on-campus employment that is not the student's fault, a significant devaluation of the student's home currency, inordinate increases in tuition, or unexpected changes in the financial condition of the student's main source of support.
A student meets eligibility based on severe economic hardship as follows: 1) is in good academic standing and is taking a full course load; 2) can demonstrate unforeseen severe economic hardship; 3) employment is not available or is insufficient on-campus; 4) has been in F-1 status for one full academic year, and 5) employment will not interfere with the studies.
An application for this benefit must be approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office, and an EAD (Employment Authorization Document) card must be issued prior to beginning off-campus employment. USCIS processing time is approximately 90 – 120 days.
For more information, please review our Economic Hardship Application, or set up an appointment with the Office of International Admissions to go over your options.