Graduate International Student Admissions & Services
Severe Economic Hardship
Severe Economic Hardship is a form of off-campus employment authorization for F-1 students who experience dramatic changes to their funding source(s) due to unforeseen circumstances beyond the student's control. This form of employment authorization:
- Provides one year of off-campus work authorization before completion of studies.
- Allows the student to work up to 20 hours per week while school is in session and 21 or more hours during school breaks.
- Student must maintain full-time enrollment.
- Lawfully enrolled full-time in a US university for at least one academic year (two long semesters).
- Valid F-1 status.
- Good academic standing (minimum 3.0 GPA).
- Since arriving in the US something unexpected happened to your funding, such as a sponsor dies or unexpected medical bills.
- You have looked for an on-campus job and have been unable to find sufficient employment.
- Schedule an appointment with the graduate international student advisor to review requirements and required documents.
- Submit the required documents to obtain an Economic Hardship Form I-20. Processing time is five business days.
- Pick up the Form I-20 and mailing instructions.
- Send the required documents to USCIS. USCIS processing usually takes about three months.
- If approved, USCIS will send you an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) authorizing off-campus employment.