Economic Hardship

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


To be eligible for CPT, you must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Full-time enrollment in F-1 visa status for a minimum of one academic year at Cal Poly or another college/university
  • Good academic standing: 2.0 or higher GPA for undergraduates / 3.0 or higher for graduate students
  • Making normal progress toward degree completion. CPT should not delay your end date on your I-20