Economic Hardship Employment

There are few options for students wishing to work off-campus legally. Authorized CPT, authorized OPT, authorized employment with an International Organization, and employment based on severe economic hardship.

U.S. Immigration regulations stipulate:

"If other employment opportunities are not available or are otherwise insufficient, an eligible F-1 student may request off-campus employment work authorization based upon severe economic hardship caused by unforeseen circumstances beyond the student's control" [8 CFR 214.2 (f)(9)(ii)(C)].

Eligibility for Severe Economic Hardship Employment Authorization

To be eligible for off-campus employment authorization based upon severe economic hardship, F-1 students have to meet the following conditions:

  • Must have been in F-1 status for one full academic year.
  • Must be in good academic standing and registered full-time.  Students should be prepared to show that employment will not interfere with their studies.
  • Must be able to explain why other employment opportunities on campus are either unavailable or insufficient to meet their needs.
  • Must prove to USCIS that employment is necessary due to severe economic hardship caused by circumstances beyond his or her control that arose after obtaining F-1 status.  Examples of unforeseen economic hardship include:
    • Loss of financial aid or on-campus employment without fault on the part of the student
    • Substantial fluctuations in the value of the 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
    • Other substantial and unexpected expenses

Severe Economic Hardship can be difficult to prove. Please contact the International Student Advisor for further information and application procedures.

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Office for International Student Services

Nicole Gatrell

International Student Advisor (PDSO)

Office Location: Kennedy Center, 1st floor
Phone: +1.330.569.5388
Fax: +1.330.569.5183
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.