J1 Visa Employment Authorization due to Economic Hardship



As a J-1 visa holder, you are authorized to work on-campus up to 20 hours during the regular semester, and up to 40 hours during the summer semester if your Responsible Officer (RO) approves. 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.

Academic Training (AT)

Incidental Employment

Employment Authorization due to Economic Hardship

Your dependent (spouse or dependent children) are also allowed to work off-campus as long as he / she gets the authorization from the USCIS.

Employment Authorization for J2 dependent visa holder


Related Links
  J1 - Academic Training
  J1 - Incidental Employment
  J1 - Economic Hardship
  J2 - Working Permit



In this section we will discuss the Employment Authorization based on Economic Hardship for J1 visa holders:

Definition

Eligibility

Restriction

How to obtain employment authorization due to economic hardship?

Tax and SSN

 

Definition  

An employment authorization to work off-campus due to economic hardship is available for J1 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

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Eligibility

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

  • You have been in J-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

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

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How to Obtain an Employment Authorization due to Economic Hardship?

Visit your International Student Office and explain your situation. Your international student advisor will normally ask you to submit:

  • A letter explaining your unforeseen economic condition, which trigger the need to work off-campus
  • Necessary supporting evidence, such as medical bill, your currency devaluation against the US dollar, or financial aid cancellation letter.

Your 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 issue you a permit to work off-campus

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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 CPT. 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.

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