F1 Off Campus Employment

Financial hardship off campus employment authorization:

The immigration regulations allows an F-1 student to work off campus while experiencing unforeseen financial hardship circumstances while studying in the U.S. During these circumstances DHS allows a student to work off campus. This off campus employment allows a student to earn some income to bear his living expenses.

Off campus Eligibility:

To evaluate your eligibility for off campus employment the most important point is for you to provide proof of an adverse change in your financial situation.  Further, you must prove that your hardship is due to unforeseen changes in financial conditions.

A student must meet the following requirements stated below:

  • The student is currently in valid F-1 status.
  • The student has been enrolled on a full time basis for 1 academic year.         
  • The student must be experiencing “unforeseen” financial difficulties.·         

Employment Limits:

The employment authorization is permitted to work off campus up to 20 hours per week when school is in session and fulltime during breaks. The hardship off campus employment allows you to work in any job regardless of whether it is related to your field of study. It is granted for 1 year or remainder of course of study. No student should work beyond the employment date on the employment card (EAD).

Failure to Comply with Employment Regulations:

It is your responsibility to comply with all immigration regulations which apply to F-1 students, including employment regulations. Working without the proper authorization is a serious violation of your student status.


Application Procedures:

  1. Complete Form I-765, the application for employment authorization (I-765 instructions)

    In item # 16 you should list (c)(3)(iii)

    Here is a short list of the documents you must also send:

    • Copies of all previous Form I-20 issued to you
    • A new Form I-20  must be prepared for your employment authorization application
    • Application fee check for $410 payable to Dept. of Homeland Security
    • Form I-94 copy plus copies of passport ID page and visa page
    • Two passport size/style photos prepared within the past six months, you can get one of our UCIE staff to make these photos for you David Evans [Room #232 Student union] for $5(cash only) – I don’t think you can get them any cheaper anywhere else.
    • You must write a letter describing your “unforeseen” financial emergency/difficulty
    • Attach any documentary proof you have of your current funding situation (we will discuss these details in our phone conversation)
    • UCIE will also prepare a letter of support and a new Form I-20 to accompany your application for employment
  2. Once you have assembled everything, UCIE can mail it in to the DHS for you if you wish or we can give everything to you to mail.  UCIE must receive the entire application set of documents before creating your new I-20 and preparing a supporting letter for the employment authorization.
  3. It is recommended that you also complete and submit Form G-1145 with the above documents.