Skip to Content

Severe Economic Hardship Employment Authorization


Severe Economic Hardship

If other employment opportunities are not available or are otherwise insufficient, an eligible F-1 student may request off-campus employment authorization based upon severe economic hardship caused by unforeseen circumstances beyond the student's control. These circumstances may include:

  • Loss of financial aid or on-campus employment without fault on the part of the student
  • Substantial decrease in the relative value of the currency the student depends upon to pay expenses
  • Inordinate increases in tuition and/or living costs
  • Unexpected changes in the financial condition of the student's source of support
  • Unexpectedly large medical bills
  • Other substantial and unexpected expenses

Severe Economic Hardship Employment Authorization Eligibility:

  • Must be recommended by a DSO who will update the recommendation in your SEVIS record.
  • Must have been in F-1 status for at least one full academic year.
  • Must be in good academic standing.
  • Must be enrolled full-time or received an approved Reduced Course Load to be enrolled less than full-time.
  • Must prove to USCIS that employment is necessary due to severe economic hardship caused by circumstances beyond her or his control that arose after obtaining F-1 status.
  • Must demonstrate that the employment is necessary to avoid severe economic hardship due to unforeseen circumstances beyond her or his control and that on-campus employment is unavailable or otherwise insufficient to meet the needs that have arisen as a result of the unforeseen circumstances.
  • Must demonstrate to the DSO that acceptance of employment will not interfere with the student's carrying a full course of study.

How to Apply for Severe Economic Hardship (SEH) Employment Authorization:

  1. Review the "Procedures for Applying for Severe Economic Hardship" below before scheduling an appointment with a DSO
  2. Review the "Regulations for Applying for Severe Economic Hardship"
  3. Submit documentation to the International Office, click button below.
  4. A DSO will review your documentation and if acceptable will contact you for an appointment. During the appointment the DSO will submit a recommendation for SEH employment authorization to SEVIS and create you a new I-20.
Expand or Collapse all.