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.