Economic Hardship

Severe Economic Hardship

F-1 students who experience severe unforeseen economic hardship after beginning their program of study in the U.S. may have the option to apply to USCIS for work authorization. 

To be eligible for off-campus employment due to unforeseen economic hardship, a student must be in lawful F-1 status for at least one academic year and be able to demonstrate the following:

Examples of Unforeseen Economic Hardship

Application Procedure

If you feel that you meet the above criteria for Economic Hardship, please contact the ISSO to make an appointment to discuss your case with your ISSO Advisor.

Please be aware that approval of Request for Off-Campus Employment due to Economic Hardship can take 3 to 5 months. You will not be able to work off-campus while your application is pending.

Special Student Relief (SSR)

Special Student Relief (SSR) may be available to certain F-1 students experiencing severe economic hardship due to emergent conditions — such as civil unrest, economic crisis, natural disasters, or other circumstances in their country of citizenship (or in certain cases, residence). If granted, SSR removes certain types of restrictions on F-1 employment and may allow authorized students to reduce their course load below full-time. Please see the information below and talk to your ISSO advisor if you have any questions.