Severe Economic Hardship Employment for F-1 Students
An F-1 student may apply for off-campus employment if s/he is able to provide evidence of severe, economic need caused by unforeseen circumstances beyond the student’s control. When an F-1 student first enters a program of study, s/he must provide evidence of financial support in order to obtain an initial Form I-20. However, if there are extenuating circumstances that arise later and are out of the control of the student, s/he may be eligible to apply to work off-campus for a period of one year.
In order to be eligible to apply for employment based on Severe Unforeseen Economic Hardship, a student must:
- Be in valid F-1 student status
- Have completed 1 full academic year (2 semesters or 3 terms)
- Demonstrate that loss of funding is unforeseen beyond the student’s control and that off-campus work is necessary for the student to continue the academic program
Circumstances that may warrant a reason to apply for Severe Economic Hardship may include “loss of financial aid or on-campus employment 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, unexpected changes in the financial condition of the student’s source of support, medical bills, or other substantial and unexpected expenses.” 8 CFR 214.2(f)(9)(ii)
If you would like to apply to USCIS for Economic Hardship, please read this Information Handout for information on the process. Please complete Step 1 before you submit the E-Form.
For more information about economic hardship, please contact OGS to schedule an appointment with a Designated School Official (DSO) by calling +1-617-373-2310 or visiting the front desk at 354 Richards Hall in Boston.
Off-Campus Employment Based on Economic Hardship for J-1 Students
A J-1 student may be eligible for authorization to work off-campus if “serious, urgent, and unforeseen economic circumstances” have arisen since they acquired J-1 exchange visitor status. Authorization for Severe Economic Hardship employment must be granted by an Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO) in the Office of Global Services (OGS) before any employment begins.
J-1 students may be eligible to apply for employment based on severe economic hardship if they are in valid J-1 status and off-campus employment is necessary due to a circumstance in which the economic need is serious, urgent, and unforeseen.
For more information about economic hardship, please contact OGS to schedule an appointment with a Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO) by calling +1-617-373-2310 or visiting the front desk at 354 Richards Hall in Boston.