Severe Economic Hardship
Individuals who obtain an F-1 visa to study in the United States are expected to be able to support themselves financially. F-1 visa holders will need to prove their financial ability in order to get the I-20 and approval for the F-1 visa.
F-1 students who have been in the U.S. for a minimum of one year and who experience unexpected, uncontrollable changes in their economic situation can apply for a temporary, part-time work permit for off-campus employment during their studies. This application is through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and, if approved, will result in a special work permit based on severe economic hardship.
This work permit allows the student to accept off-campus employment. The student will
be limited to working 20 hours a week while school is in session, but the student
can work over 20 hours a week during the summer term and official campus holidays.
In order to qualify for a work permit based on severe economic hardship, you will need to show USCIS that you:
- Have already completed a full academic year of study in F-1 status
- Are in good academic standing
- Have experienced unforeseen changes in your financial situation that were out of your control
- Cannot obtain suitable or on-campus employment to meet your new need.
How to Apply
Schedule an appointment with an ISS advisor by emailing email@example.com. You will then need to complete the application and required documentation to send to USCIS. Required documentation includes:
- Form I-765 (https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/files/form/i-765.pdf)
- $410 Application Fee (this fee will not be refunded if you are rejected)
- Photocopy of the I-20
- Two passport-sized photos
- Photocopy of the I-94 card
- A statement outlining your financial troubles and an explanation for why on-campus employment opportunities are insufficient
- Photocopy of the passport identification page
- Photocopy of the visa page
- Photocopies of previous EAD cards that you were issued