F1: Employment based on Economic Hardship


General Information

If employment opportunities are not available or are otherwise insufficient (i.e., on campus employment), and a student is experiencing economic hardship due to unforeseen circumstances beyond their control, the student may apply to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for an off-campus work permit after having been in lawful F-1 status for at least one academic year. USCIS requires that the student make a "good faith effort" to locate employment on campus before applying for employment based on economic hardship.

What do I need to do to participate?

Schedule a meeting with an advisor or come by during walk-in advising and bring the following to OISS:

  1. Completed Employment Based on Economic Hardship Form (click here for form)
  2. Supporting documentation which verifies the economic hardship (i.e., letter from home, documentation which verifies significant fluctuations in rate of currency exchange, copies of medical bills, etc.)
  3. Form I-20
  4. Passport
  5. Form I-94
  6. Two (2) passport photos (directions in the Employment Based on Economic Hardship Form)

After reviewing the material listed above, an adviser at OISS will recommend to USCIS that employment authorization be granted.

Submit a photocopy of your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) to OISS. USCIS regulations require that a copy of this document be kept in your file. Please do not forget this step.