F1 Visa - Employment Authorization due to Economic Hardship



As an F-1 visa holder, you are automatically authorized to work on-campus up to 20 hours during the regular semester, and up to 40 hours during the summer semester. However, you will also be able to work off-campus if you have the employment authorization from the USCIS. There are three type of employment authorization to work off-campus.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Employment Authorization due to Economic Hardship

In this section we will discuss the employment authorization due to economic hardship available for F1 students.


Related Links
  F1 - CPT (Internships)
  F1 - OPT (Internships/Jobs)
  F1 - Economic Hardship




Definition

Eligibility

Restriction

How to obtain an Employment Authorization due to Economic Hardship?

Receiving EAD card

Tax and SSN

 

Definition

An employment authorization to work off-campus due to economic hardship is available for F1 visa holder, who experiences a severe unforeseen and beyond control economic hardship. Examples of economic hardships are:

  • Loss of financial aid or loss of support due to substantial change in the financial condition of the financial aid provider or the student’s main source of fund (Not because of the student’s fault).
  • Significant fluctuation (devaluation) in the value of the student’s currency against the US Dollar.
  • Significant increase in tuition
  • Substantial and unexpected expenses, such as medical bills

Back

Eligibility

You are eligible to apply for an employment authorization due to economic hardship if:

  • You have been in F-1 status for at least one full academic year
  • You perform well academically
  • You are able to explain in writing your economic condition, which trigger the need to work off-campus
  • You are able to show that the on-campus employment is not enough to support your education after you experienced the economic hardship condition.

 Back

Restriction

  • You should maintain your full-time status while working under the Economic Hardship work permission. If you fail to maintain it, the work authorization is automatically revoked.
  • You are only allowed to work up to 20 hours per week during the regular semester and up to 40 hours per week during holidays or school vacation

 Back

How to Obtain an Employment Authorization due to Economic Hardship?

Visit your international student office and explain your situation. The international student office will conduct a review to ensure that you are eligible to apply for the employment authorization due to economic hardship. If you are eligible, the International Student Office will update your SEVIS record, to include a recommendation for Economic Hardship work authorization, and print a new I-20 for you. You will have to sign and date this new I-20. Later, you should include this new I-20 in the application packet sent to the USCIS.

In the application packet, you should enclose following documents:

  • Original and completed I-765 Form (put it in the front of the application packet)
  • A letter explaining your economic condition, which trigger the need to work off-campus with necessary supporting evidence (from you)
  • Support letters from your financial provider and academic advisor
  • Original I-20 with a recommendation for Economic Hardship work authorization
  • Copies of all previously issued I-20 (all pages)
  • Copy of passport (the identification page and visa page)
  • Copy of the I-94 form (front and back)
  • Two current passport-style photos with your name and passport number / SEVIS number on the back of the photos
  • Application fee – currently $180 (please check with your international student office for the current application fee)

The application process will take between 1.5 months to 3 months, and it is not guaranteed that you will get an approval.

Back

Receiving the EAD Card

If your OPT application is approved by the USCIS, you will be sent an EAD (Employment Authorization Document) card. Your authorized employment start and end date is shown on your EAD card. You cannot start working before the start date shown on your EAD card.

The processing time for the OPT application is between 1.5 months to 3 months. Be sure that you put the correct and reliable address on the I-765 form, and that you stay there until you receive your EAD card. If you move, the post officer will not forward a US Government mail even if you already request a forwarding service with the US Postal Service. In addition, the post officer will not deliver your mail if he or she does not see your name on the mailbox. Therefore, if you put your family’s / friend’s / landlord’s address, put both of your name with a c/o (care of) in front of your family’s / friend’s / landlord’s name when you write the address, for example:

John Doe
c/o Mike Smith
123 Any Street #1
Los Angeles , CA 12345

Back

Tax and SSN

As an international student you are not eligible for social security benefits. Therefore, you are not required to deduct the social security tax (FICA) from your paycheck while you are working under this type of work authorization. However, you should pay the Federal tax, State tax, and City tax. In order to do so, you need to have a Social Security Number.

Back

      © 2006 - 2010 GlobalStudentGuide.com    Any unauthorised reproduction in any form without prior written permission is strictly prohibited.