F-1 Economic Hardship Work Permit
In order to qualify for Economic Hardship work permission employment, you must meet the following criteria:
- You must have been a full-time student at PCC for at least one full academic year.
- You must be able to document the circumstances which led to your economic situation were unexpected and beyond your control. Examples include evidence of unexpected currency fluctuations, or unexpected loss of financial assistantship from your sponsor.
- You must be capable of continuing full-time studies and maintaining F-1 status while engaged in Economic Hardship work permission.
You do not need a job offer to apply for Economic Hardship work permission.
Applying for Economic Hardship work permission is a two-step process:
Speak to an International Student Advisor and she will assist you in your application for a work permit.
You must come to International Student Advisor with the following documents:
- Your I-20, I-94 card, and passport
- A completed F-1 Student Budget Sheet
- A letter of explanation detailing your present economic hardship and the unforeseen and unexpected circumstances which led to your present economic situation
- Supporting evidence that documents the above
Your International Student Advisor will review your application materials. This is not a routine application and is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Note that the USCIS scrutinizes Economic Hardship applications extremely carefully; as a result, the more evidence you can provide to establish the unforeseen and unexpected nature of your economic situation, the better.
If you are eligible for Economic Hardship application, you will receive a new SEVIS I-20 for this purpose.
Apply to the USCIS. Please note that approval for change of status is granted only by US Citizenship and Immigration Services, and PCC cannot guarantee approval of your application.
Your complete application packet will include:
- an original SEVIS I-20 from Office of International Education, with a recommendation for Economic Hardship work permission.
- photocopies of all I-20s previously issued (even from other schools)
- photocopies of the passport bio and visa pages and photocopy the back and front of the I-94 card
- a check or money order made payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security in the amount of $175.00
- a completed Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization
- two photographs (must meet USCIS specifications)
- a letter of explanation from you, addressed to the USCIS
- your F-1 Student Budget Sheet
- supporting evidence documenting the unforeseen and unexpected nature of your economic situation
- letters of support from your financial sponsor and academic advisor
USCIS can easily take up to 90 days or more to process this type of application. Approval is not guaranteed, and you may not begin employment unless you have received written approval from USCIS.
Mail your Economic Hardship application packet to the Nebraska Service Center by certified mail return receipt requested.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Nebraska Service Center
P.O. Box 87765
Lincoln , NE 68501 -7765
If approved, you will receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card from the USCIS granting you permission to work off-campus. Typically, permission is granted for up to one year. Note also the following:
- You may work a maximum of 20 hours per week during the school year, full-time (over 20 hours per week) during vacation periods.
- Economic Hardship work permission is not limited to employment in your field of study - you may accept any type of lawful employment once you have received your EAD.
- You may not start employment until you have received an EAD or before the start date indicated on the EAD. You must stop employment by the EAD expiration date or by the date you finish your studies, whichever is earlier. You may, however, apply for a renewal of Economic Hardship work permission if you are still a full-time student and if the conditions underlying the original application remain in place.
- You must remain a full-time student and make full-time progress toward degree completion while on Economic Hardship work permission.
- If you transfer to another institution, your EAD becomes invalid as of the date the transfer.