Students with F-1 visas are allowed to enter the United States for academic studies. They are required to show prior to entry that they will be able to afford the costs of school and living expenses and they should not plan on being allowed to work off-campus. Off-campus employment is authorized only in cases of Emergent Circumstances as defined by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or due to Severe Economic Hardship occurring subsequent to a student’s enrollment in an academic program.
If you are suffering a severe economic hardship due to unforeseen problems with your finances, you may be eligible for off-campus employment. You must have been in F-1 status for one academic year, be in good academic standing, and document that on-campus employment opportunities or current scholarships are insufficient to meet your needs.
To apply for Severe Economic Hardship, send the following materials to USCIS: