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F-1 Economic Hardship

An F-1 student who has maintained his/her status for an academic year and is in good academic standing may, in extreme circumstances, be eligible to apply for off-campus employment based on unforeseen economic hardship.

Economic hardship is defined as a  “Loss of financial aid or on-campus employment without fault on the part of the student, substantial fluctuations in the value of currency or exchange rate, inordinate increases in tuition and/or living expenses.” (8CFR 214.2 (f)(9)(ii)F). 

A meeting with an IC advisor is required to discuss options related to Economic Hardship. Applications are processed through the International Center and USCIS, cost $380 (payable to Department of Homeland Security) and take approximately 3-4 months for adjudication.  Approvals are not guaranteed and are, in fact, difficult to obtain.