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According to the Department of Homeland Security, the following circumstances qualify for unforeseen economic need: loss of financial aid, scholarship or fellowship; loss of on-campus job; large increase in tuition or living expenses; unexpected changes in student’s financial support; large medical bills or a significant devaluation of your home currency. There is no restriction on the type of work. Renewals are possible, but the same procedure must be followed for each renewal.

The following are answers to frequently asked questions regarding off-campus work based on economic necessity.

Am I eligible to apply for off-campus employment?

You are eligible to apply if you meet the following criteria:

  • You must have been enrolled full-time for at least one full academic year (nine consecutive months).
  • You must be in good academic standing (not on probation)
  • You must be able to demonstrate and document unforeseen financial need due to circumstances beyond your control.
  • You must have attempted to find a job on campus.
  • Your employment must not interfere with your full-time study.

How can I apply for off-campus employment?

To apply, you must set up an appointment with an international student services advisor and bring in the following items:

  • Prepare a letter explaining the unforeseen hardship you have necountered that is necessitating off-campus employment.
  • Get a statement from Career Services verifying that no employment is available on campus or include evidence in a letter explaining why on-campus employment is not sufficient.
  • Collect evidence of the hardship, such as copies of bank statements, a list of education and household expenses, comparative value of home country currency, if applicable.
  • Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance
  • Form I-765, Application For Employment Authorization

Print the form but do not hit the submit button. If you do not type the application online, use black ink to fill out the information on the form attached. Be sure that you complete all sections required, and that names and numbers exactly match your immigration documents. Your signature should be in blue ink.

  • Obtain two, 2” x 2” full frontal face passport-style photographs. Photos must be in color, meet government standards and be no more than 30 days old when an application is filed. Please lightly write your SEVIS number on the back of each photograph.
  • Obtain a money order, cashier’s check or personal check for $380 payable to the “Department of Homeland Security.” Make sure checks are signed and correctly dated.
  • Your passport, I-94 card, student visa and all I-20’s issued, including those from prior schools, as well as any previous EAD cards.

What happens once I submit the paperwork?

  • After you have met with an international student services advisor and completed your application packet, your I-20 will be updated to reflect your new program end date so that off-campus employment can be recommended.
  • Once your off-campus employment is recommended in your SEVIS record, you will be asked to return to IPO to sign your new I-20 so your paperwork can be submitted to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).
  • Your international student services advisor will give you your new I-20 with the off-campus recommendation and dates listed on Page 3.
  • Shortly after your application packet is received by USCIS, you will be notified by email or text that USCIS has accepted your application which should also include your SRC receipt number.
  • You will also receive an acknowledgment letter in the mail from USCIS with your SRC receipt number stating that they received your application. Save this letter in case you need to reference your application. You may then check the status of your application online.
  • After your off-campus employment has been authorized by USCIS, your EAD card will be sent to the address you indicated on the I-765.

Once approved, regulations include the following:

  • You may not begin employment until you have received the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from DHS and the authorization will be for one year only.
  • Work is limited to 20 hours per week during the academic year, but may be full time in the summer.
  • This type of work permission is often hard to obtain. If DHS denies your request, you will be told why but you may not appeal the decision.
  • You are required to report your employer, the employer’s address, and the start and end date of any employment to the Office of International Programs so it may be entered in SEVIS. You must also report that you are actively seeking employment if not employed by the start date on your EAD card.
  • You must provide the Office of International Programs a copy of your EAD card upon receiving it.
  • You are required to always have your local address on file with the Office of International Programs and must notify them anytime you move or change your address. This must be reported to SEVIS within 10 days of the change.
  • You may begin to search for employment prior to receiving off campus employment authorization, but you may not begin work until you receive your EAD card.
  • You should always update the Office of International Programs with an alternate email address where you may be reached as there are often updates and changes to regulations that we must notify you of.

For more information and how to apply please contact:

The Office of International Programs
Plant Hall Room 302
(813) 258-7433