Economic Hardship is off-campus employment that is approved by USCIS based on unforeseen severe economic hardship.
- Employment can be in any job and does not have to be related to your major
- Granted by USCIS in1-year increments or up to the I-20 program end date whichever is shorter
- Students must reapply at least 90 days but not more than 6 months before their current authorization expires each year to renew work authorization
- Work authorization ends if you transfer schools
- Limited to 20 hours per week while school is in session
- Can work full-time during official school breaks
- Do not need an offer of employment to apply
- Must receive EAD before you start work
- Must have been in valid F-1 status for at least one full academic year (equivalent of 3 quarters)
- Good academic standing
- Must prove to USCIS that employment is necessary due to severe economic hardship caused by circumstances beyond your control that arose after obtaining F-1 status
Document Circumstances Causing Economic Need
- Write a statement describing your unforeseen hardship situation
- State that you have looked for on-campus employment and it is not available or sufficient to solve your financial hardship
- Attach as much back-up documentation to strengthen your application
- Unexpected changes in the financial condition of the student’s source of support
- Proof of your home country currency devaluation or exchange rate
- Loss of on-campus employment
- Inordinate increases in tuition and/or living costs
- Medical bills
- Other substantial and unexpected expenses
- Include a sample budget of your expenses and funding to show the gap
- The gap should not be so large that even working off campus would not help
How to Apply
Email Judy Mitchell for assistance in applying.
- Complete I-765 Form
- Download Form I-765.
Save it so you can fill it in on your computer.
This is preferable to completing it by hand.
Additional Form I-765 instructions.
- Sign with black ink. If filling out by hand, be sure to use black ink.
- Check the box indicating that you are applying for permission to accept employment, and complete items 1-16.
- The address on line 3 should be a permanent residence where you want the EAD mailed. Keep in mind it will be mailed in 3-5 months. If you want it to be mailed outside California be sure to mention this at your OPT appointment as this determines the application mailing address.
- On line 16, fill in (c) (3) (iii)
- If you have any questions when filling out the form email Judy Mitchell for assistance.
- Download Form I-765.
- Complete G-1145 Form
- Attach documentation of economic need (described above)
- Attach two photos (follow photo instructions)
- Attach check for $410 made out to "U.S. Department of Homeland Security."
- Bring the above items to your appointment with Judy
- Mail to USCIS California Service Center (ask Judy for address)