Students in valid F-1 status are eligible to apply for Severe Economic Hardship provided that:
- they are in good standing and are enrolled full-time
- they can demonstrate unforeseen economic hardship
- ex. severe currency fluctuation
- ex. sponsor's loss of income
- ex. other unforeseen financial events
- employment opportunities on campus are otherwise unavailable or insufficient
- they have been in F-1 status for one academic year and
- acceptance of employment will not interfere with the student's carrying a full course of study.
Students are required to make a good faith effort in locating employment on campus before applying for employment based on severe economic hardship.
Authorization for Severe Economic Hardship is granted by the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services. Applications are submitted to USCIS in Lincoln, Nebraska and may take up to 120 days to process. Since you must have the authorization before you begin working, be sure to apply well in advance. The USCIS will issue you an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). The EAD is your photo identification card that indicates the dates you are authorized to work.
Students are limited to 20 hours of Severe Economic Hardship employment per week during school terms, but may work more than 20 hours per week during the summer term, and spring and winter breaks. Employment authorization will be granted in one-year intervals up to the expected date of completion of the student's course of study.