Severe Economic Hardship Information


  • Students must have been in F-1 status for one full academic year
  • Students are currently in good standing
  • Students must prove that employment is necessary due to severe economic hardship caused by circumstances beyond students' control (and circumstances arose after obtaining F-1 status).

Other Information

  • Severe Economic Hardship is designed for off-campus employment. However, it is can be done on-campus
  • Severe Economic Hardship is granted by USCIS in increments of one year at a time.  Students need to renew Severe Economic Hardship application if necessary
  • Students are allowed 20 hours per week while classes are in session. Students may work full-time during break periods
  • Students can work in any job
  • Students cannot begin employment until he/she receives approval from USCIS

Severe Economic Hardship Application Process

You must apply for Employment Authorization from USCIS with the assistance of Intercultural and International Student Services staff. Please contact our office if you are struggling financially.

Required Documents:

  • Completed Form I-765
  • Copy of I-20 with severe economic hardship indication in the last page (obtain when meet with Brandyn Woodard)
  • Two (2) full frontal view photos (please see photo sample)
  • Copy of I-94 Card (Arrival/Departure Card)
  • Copy of passport and U.S. visa
  • Application Fee: $410; check or money order payable to "USCIS"
  • Letter in English from your sponsor explaining the unexpected hardship (if applicable)
  • Student letter explaining the unforeseen hardship situation, and why other employment opportunities are unavailable or insufficient. If applicable, students should attach supporting documents, for example, proof of currency devaluation in student's home country
  • For renewal applicants, copy of all previous employment authorization cards