Severe Economic Hardship Application

     I.     Important Information:

1.  Is designed for off-campus employment but can be done on-campus.

2.  Granted by USCIS in increments of one year at a time or until the program end-date, whichever is shorter.

3.  Authorization ends when a student transfers his or her SEVIS record to another institution.

4.  Whether a student is working on or off-campus, students are not allowed to work more than 20 hours per week while classes are in session. (during summer and winter break periods, students may work full-time).

5.  Can be in any job - does not have to be related to course of study.

6.  Must apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from USCIS with the assistance of the Designated School Official (DSO).

7.  Student cannot begin employment until he or she receives the EAD from USCIS.


   II.     A student is eligible for severe economic hardship if:

1.  Have been in F-1 status for one full academic year and currently in good standing as a student.

2.  Must prove that employment is necessary due to severe economic hardship caused by circumstances unforeseen, unexpected, and beyond his or her control that arose after obtaining F-1 status. (retirement of your sponsor is not a valid reason to apply).


III.     Procedures to Apply:

Complete the forms in the Severe Economic Hardship packet in full and then make an appointment to see an international student advisor at ISSS during appointment times. Bring completed forms and the items listed below with you to your appointment:

1.  Completed I-765, follow instructions on completing form at this link (

2.  Two (2)-full frontal view photos against a white background

3.  A copy of the front and back of your paper I-94 card. If you entered the U.S. after May 2013, go to:

4.  Valid passport

5.  Application fee: $380.00 (subject to change without notice); check or money order payable to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security”

6.  Letter in English from your sponsor explaining why promised funds are no longer available (if applicable)

7.  Letter from student describing the unforeseen hardship situation and, if possible, should attach supporting documentation; for example, a copy of the sponsor’s death certificate or proof of a currency devaluation in the student’s country. This letter should also mention why other employment opportunities are unavailable or insufficient.

8.  Create a budget form comparing income (sponsorship money, on-campus job) versus expenditures (tuition, fees, rent, etc.).

9.  Bring all past EAD/work permit cards (if applicable).

We will print a new I-20 during your appointment


Severe Economic Hardship Application Guide