Students may be authorized to work off-campus in cases of severe, unforeseen economic necessity. In order to be eligible to apply, students must be in F-1 status for one full academic year, be in good academic and legal standing, and carry a full course of study. In addition, students must demonstrate an unforeseen, severe economic necessity beyond the students' control and that other employment opportunities are not available or are insufficient. Moreover, students must establish that the employment will not interfere with full-time study. It is important to know that employment is limited to 20 hours per week while school is in session, but may be full-time during vacations or holidays; the approval is granted in one-year intervals; and authorization ends upon the completion date of the program, transfer to another school, change in level of study, program extension, or failure to maintain status.
In order to start the process, students must write a letter describing the unforeseen circumstances and contact their International Advisor. To obtain the Economic Hardship form, contact your International Advisor. These special forms of employment must be recommended in SEVIS and approved by USCIS. If approved, USCIS will issue the student an EAD card (employment authorization card) that signifies that off-campus employment has been authorized. Students cannot begin to work until they have received the employment authorization card. For additional information contact your International Advisor.