Definition of Severe Economic Hardship
Severe economic hardship is considered to be any situation that is unforeseen and beyond your control. This may include loss of financial aid or on-campus employment that is not your fault, a significant devaluation of your home currency, inordinate increases in tuition, or unexpected changes in the financial condition of your main source of support.
Student Eligibility Requirements
You are eligible for employment based on severe economic hardship if:
Application and Authorization Procedures
You are in good academic standing and are taking a full course load.
You can demonstrate unforeseen severe economic hardship.
Employment is not available or is insufficient on-campus. You should consult
with the DBU Career Services Office to make sure that there are no
employment opportunities availalbe on-campus.
You have been in continuous F-1 status for one full academic year.
Employment will not interfere with your studies.
Make an appointment for the filing with the Department of International Admissions and Immigration (DIAI). It is essential to obtain all forms prior to the meeting and have the forms completed before the appointment (this includes the check and pictures).
Items to be mailed to USCIS
Completed I-765. (Download I-765)
A new I-20 recommending employment.
Letter from your sponsor. This letter must provide evidence supporting your
case for economic hardship, such as photos, doctor bills, proof your
scholarship will not be renewed, etc.
Letter from the student. This letter must prove that there is need due to an
unforeseen economic crisis. Circumstances must justify employment and be
out of the student's control. In addition, it is helpful to explain your plans after
graduation (i.e. Will return to home country to obtain employment, etc.).
Letter from International Advisor supporting need for off-campus work.
Personal check or money order with same name for $380.00 made to
Department of Homeland Security. In the memo section of your check write
EAD and your SEVIS ID (N000..........).
Copies of current I-94, passport and visa. Passport must be valid six months
into the future.
Two color photos to specifications.
Previous EAD or refusal (If you have one).
Within two weeks the USCIS TSC will mail a receipt notice with a processing number to the DIAI. After the EAD has been sent to the DIAI, you will be called to pick up your card. Track the processing of your check through your bank account. It will have the same SRC processing number on the back of it.
This type of work permission is often hard to obtain and is a lengthy filing. If denied, you may not appeal the decision.
Your work permission dates will be noted on the EAD. Employment will be granted in one-year periods up to the time you are expected to complete your studies, as noted on the I-20. Your work permission can only be renewed by the US government and only if you continue to meet the eligibility requirements.
Employment Eligibility Verification
When you begin work, you and your employer must complete a form entitled "Employment Eligibility Verification" (Form I-9), which the employer retains. Ask for a copy.
In general, F-1 students who have been in the United States less than five years are exempt from Social Security (F.I.C.A.) taxes. Your earnings are subject to applicable federal, state, and local taxes. Please go to www.utexas.edu/international/taxes (University of Texas tax website) to obtain information on how to file your taxes. Students must file a tax return on or before April 15 of each year even if you do not have a job.
A Note of Caution
While regulations provide a variety of opportunities for you to be employed during your time in F-1 visa status, working improperly or without authorization is a serious violation of your status. It is your responsibility to comply with all immigration regulations that apply to F-1 students. If you fail to meet your responsibilities, you may not be eligible for benefits normally granted to F-1 students.
STUDENTS MAY BEGIN WORK BASED ON THE FOLLOWING, AND NOT BEFORE:
- EAD has been received.
- Employment begins on or after the date designated on the EAD and does not exceed the end date.
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