Severe Economic Hardship

F-1 or J-1 students who are experiencing economic hardship caused by unforeseen circumstances beyond their control may be eligible for off-campus work authorization.  Students in F-1 immigration status must apply through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for the approval of this type of authorization.  Students in J-1 status will obtain the approval from International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS).

A student can be employed off-campus up to 20 hours per week while school is in session and full-time during official school breaks. The job does not have to be related to the course of study and a job offer is not required to apply. Authorization must be acquired before a student begins working off-campus.


  • Must have been enrolled for one full academic year.
  • Must be in good academic standing.
  • Must demonstrate that acceptance of employment will not interfere with the student’s carrying a full course of study.
  • Must demonstrate severe economic hardship caused by circumstances beyond the student’s control that arose after obtaining F-1 status.

Employment with an International Organization

This type of employment allows F-1 students to work for recognized international organizations.  The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has provided a section of Frequently Asked Questions regarding this type of employment authorization.


  • Students are eligible as soon as they obtain F-1 status
  • Employment must be with a qualified international organization and student should submit a written offer of employment with the application.

 Application Materials