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:
- That employment is necessary to avoid severe economic hardship
- That your economic hardship is due to unforeseen circumstances beyond your control
- That you have made a good faith effort to find a job on campus
- That on-campus jobs were either unavailable or insufficient to meet your need
Examples of Unforeseen Economic Hardship
Loss of financial aid without fault on your part
Unexpected changes in your chief means of financial support
Unexpected medical bills (this must be well documented)
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.
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.