ISSS office walk-in advising hours: Monday - Friday: 9:00a.m. - 5:00p.m.
410 Butler Pavilion Washington, DC, USA 20016 United States
Under certain circumstances, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may grant employment authorization to F-1 students who show clear evidence of the need for financial assistance. 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 been in F-1 status for at least one full academic year (Fall and Spring)
- Must be in good academic standing
- Must prove to USCIS that employment is necessary due to severe economic hardship cause by circumstances beyond your control
- Must have explored all other options of employment
- Must demonstrate that employment will not interfere with your studies
- Job does not have to be in your field of study
Hours Per Week
- Part-time while school is in session: 20 hours or less
- Full-time during breaks: No limit
Authorization is granted in increments of one year at a time, or until your program end date, whichever is shorter. Authorization ends if you transfer schools.
- Speak to an ISSS advisor for approval before applying.
- After the advisor approves, submit the following documents to ISSS:
- Personal statement describing the unforeseen hardship situation and why other employment options are unavailable. Attach supporting documentation, such as proof of currency devaluation in your country
- Completed form I-765 (PDF)
- Passport with F-1 visa
- Current I-94 record indicating F-1 status
- Current and all previous I-20s
- $410 check, cashier's check or money order, payable to US Department of Homeland Security (verify fee in case of increases on the I-765 instructions)
- Two passport style photos
- Copies of previous employment authorization documents (if applicable)
- ISSS will notify you within 3 - 5 business days when your application is ready for you to pick-up with your new I-20 recommending severe economic hardship employment.
- Mail your complete application to USCIS within 30 days.