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Off Campus Employment

There are few options for students wishing to work off-campus legally. CPT and OPT are two possibilities. If a student experiences serious unexpected economic difficulties, US Immigration regulation stipulates:

"If other employment opportunities are not available or are otherwise insufficient, an eligible F-1 student may request off-campus employment work authorization based upon severe economic hardship caused by unforeseen circumstances beyond the student's control." [8 CFR 214.2 (f)(9)(ii)(C)]

Eligibility for Economic Hardship Employment Authorization

To be eligible to apply for off-campus employment authorization based upon severe economic hardship, F-1 students have to meet the following conditions:

  • F-1 students must demonstrate severe economic hardship resulting from one of the following unforeseen circumstances:
    • 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
    • unexpected changes in the financial condition of the student's source of support
    • medical bills
    • other substantial and unexpected expenses
  • F-1 students must have been in F-1 status for one full academic year
  • They must be in good academic standing and registered full-time, and the employment must not interfere with their studies
  • Employment opportunities on campus are either unavailable or insufficient to meet their needs.

Severe and unexpected economic hardship can be difficult to prove. Please contact the International Programs Office for further information and application procedures.