Severe Economic Hardship Employment for F-1 Students
If other employment opportunities are not available or are otherwise insufficient, an eligible F-1 student may request employment authorization based on severe economic hardship caused by unforeseen circumstances beyond the student's control. These circumstances may include 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 costs, or unexpected changes in the financial condition of the student's source of support, medical bills, or other substantial and unexpected expenses. Source: [8 C.F.R. 214.2(f)(9)(ii)(C)-(D) and (F)]
You are eligible to apply for employment based on severe economic hardship if:
NOTE: You are required to have U-M approved health insurance while in F-1 status.
Documentation Needed to Apply
To apply for employment based on severe economic hardship, you must schedule an appointment with a U-M International Center advisor, and bring the following documents to your appointment:
How to Apply for Severe Economic Hardship Employment
Submitting Your Severe Economic Hardship Application to USCIS
Once you have requested a Severe Economic Hardship Employment recommendation and received your new I-20 from the U-M International Center, you will need to prepare and submit the following list of items to USCIS:
Mailing to USCIS
Send your complete request to USCIS at the following location:
NOTE: The U.S. Postal Service is the only service that delivers to a P.O. Box address. You may want to send your application via express (next day) mail.
Employment Authorization Card (EAD)
If the application is approved, USCIS will issue an EAD (Employment Authorization Document) to you. If the application is denied, you will be notified by USCIS in writing but you may not appeal. The fee is nonrefundable.
You may not begin employment until you have received the EAD. Authorization is granted in one-year intervals up to the expected date of completion of studies. You are allowed to work part time with the EAD when school is in session but you must be enrolled as a full time student. You may work full time with the EAD during vacations. The employment does not have to be related to course of study and it does not count towards the 20-hour on campus maximum. The EAD may be renewed only if you are maintaining status and are in good academic standing. The employment authorization is automatically terminated if you transfer from one school to another one or if you fail to maintain status.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Address Notification Requirement
You are required to update your address in Wolverine Access within 10 days of any address change while you are in F-1 status.
Last reviewed: 05/13