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Employment Authorization for F-1 Students


Int'l Student / Scholar Svcs
Fax: 202-885-3354
Butler Pavilion, Room 410

ISSS office walk-in advising hours: Mondays: 12:00 noon - 5:00 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Bakar, Senem S
Director, International Student & Scholar Services

Int'l Student / Scholar Svcs
4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW
410 Butler Pavilion
Washington, DC, USA 20016-8041

Severe Economic Hardship

Under certain circumstances, USCIS may grant employment authorization to F-1 Students who show clear evidence of the need for financial assistance. Please note that this employment benefit is very difficult to receive, and is reserved by USCIS as a last resort for those students requiring financial assistance to complete their academic program.


  • Must have explored all other options for employment 
  • Financial need must be unforeseen, due to a change in circumstances Approval of ISSS office 

Hours Per Week 

  • Up to 20 hours during academic year 
  • No limit during vacation periods 

Application Process 

  • Speak to an ISSS advisor 

Application Processing 

  • Requires 3 - 5 business days for ISSS to process, plus 2 - 3 months for USCIS to process

Disclaimer: The materials on this website have been prepared for general informational purposes only. They do not constitute legal advice or serve as a substitute for legal counsel.