In this section we will discuss the Employment Authorization based on Economic Hardship for J1 visa holders:
How to obtain employment authorization due to economic hardship?
Tax and SSN
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
You are eligible to apply for an employment authorization due to economic hardship if:
- 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
- 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
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
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.