Economic Hardship employment authorization is permission granted to F-1 students by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to work off-campus due to specific economic hardship criteria.

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.

These may include the following:

  • Loss of financial aid or on-campus employment (if the student is not at fault)
  • Large increases in tuition or living costs
  • A substantial decrease in the relative value of currency the student depends upon to pay expenses
  • Unexpected changes in the financial conditions for a student’s sources of financial support
  • Unexpectedly large medical bills not covered by insurance
  • Other substantial, unexpected expenses

USCIS makes case-by-case decisions for off-campus employment for students who can show that new, unexpected circumstances beyond their control have created severe economic hardship. 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. A student has permission to engage in off-campus employment only if the student receives the EAD endorsed to that effect. Off-campus employment authorization may be renewed by the Service only if the student is maintaining status and good academic standing. The employment authorization is automatically terminated whenever the student fails to maintain status.

Requirements Necessary in Order to Request Severe Economic Hardship Employment

  • An F-1 student must have remained enrolled for at least one academic year, in valid F-1 status and in good academic standing.
  • The F-1 student must be unable to get on-campus employment, or the pay from available on-campus employment must be insufficient to meet financial needs.
  • For each request approval, a DSO must provide the F-1 student with an endorsed Form I-20.
  • The F-1 student must file a Form I-765, “Application for Employment Authorization,” and pay a fee to USCIS.
  • The student should file within 30 days of the day the DSO endorses the Form I-20.
  • Approval for off-campus employment is good for one year. If the F-1 student needs to continue working, the student must re-apply.
  • The financial need resulting in the employment application has been caused by a situation outside the students control and you are able to successfully document your economic situation.  Examples include: loss of financial assistance 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, or unexpected changes in the financial condition of the student’s source of support such as medical bills or other substantial and unexpected expenses.
  • There is no job offer needed to apply for Economic Need work permission.
  • The student has received a recommendation in the form of an economic hardship endorsement I-20 from the DSO.
  • You do not need a job offer to apply for Economic Need work permission.

Economic Hardship Request Process

Prior to a student completing and filing the USCIS Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization with USCIS, the student must first request and obtain permission from the Designated School Official located in International Services.  If the student meets all requirements and permission is granted by the DSO, the student will then be able to begin the Employment for Economic Hardship Application Process with USCIS. The student must first review all requirements for this type of employment, and request permission through the International Services Portal located in eCampus.

The student must submit the following with their request:

Evidence that the student has been enrolled in F-1 status at Adelphi University as a full-time student for at least one academic year in F-1 status and intends to remain enrolled on a full-time basis.

  • Copy of Transcripts
  • Copy of Course Schedule

Documentation indicating the circumstances causing the economic need was unforeseen.

  • The student must write a statement describing the unforeseen hardship situation 
  • The student must include appropriate documentation demonstrating the financial need. Examples include loss of a job to a financial sponsor, medical illness for a financial sponsor, etc.

Explain why other employment options are unavailable or insufficient. Show evidence you have tried to gain employment on campus and why working on campus will not provide sufficient funding for your needs.

Provide a letter from your academic department that you are in good academic standing.

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