Economic Hardship

If you are an F-1 student experiencing unforeseen, severe economic hardship you may be authorized for off-campus employment authorization.

What is severe economic hardship?

It refers to extreme financial hardship caused by unforeseen circumstances beyond your control.


  • Loss of financial aid or on-campus employment without fault on your part
  • Substantial fluctuations in the value of currency or exchange rate
  • Unexpected changes in the financial condition of your source of support
  • Unexpected medical bills


  • Have been in F-1 status for one full academic year.
  • Must be in good academic standing
  • Demonstrate severe economic hardship.


Economic hardship is granted by USCIS in increments of a year or until the program end date, whichever is sooner.

It can authorized part-time when school is in session, and full time during holidays or vacation.

How to apply:

Make an appointment with an OGI adviser to discuss if you qualify. If you qualify, we will make a recommendation and explain what documents you must submit to USCIS. The processing time is 3 months until you receive your Employment Authorization Document (EAD). You cannot begin off-campus employment before you receive your EAD.