F-1 students who do not qualify for employment under Practical Training (CPT or OPT) may be eligible to apply to USCIS for off-campus work authorization based on economic hardship due to unforeseen circumstances. Please note the following requirements:
- You must be maintaining F-1 status.
- You must have been enrolled full-time for at least one academic year.
- You would still need to enroll full-time during fall and spring semesters while pursuing employment.
- You would only be eligible to work up to 20 hours per week during fall and spring semesters. You would be eligible to work full-time during university vacation periods.
- Work does not need to be in your field of study.
It is generally difficult to obtain this authorization. You must be able to prove to USCIS that employment is necessary due to severe economic hardship caused by circumstances beyond your control that arose after obtaining F-1 status. You would also need to explain why other employments options (e.g., on-campus employment) are unavailable or insufficient. Students with financial concerns should make an appointment to see a Foreign Student Advisor by contacting the Office of International Services at 812-855-9086 or email@example.com.